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LeMond Composites Expands Manufacturing Hub In Oak Ridge, Tennessee

10/13/2016
LeMond Composites, a manufacturer of high-volume, low-cost carbon fiber composites, will invest $125 million to expand its campus by building its first carbon fiber production line at its facility at 103 Palladium Way in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The facility is located adjacent to Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility.

The project to serve the transportation, renewable energy and infrastructure markets is expected to create 242 new jobs in Roane County.

“We can provide the advantages of our carbon fiber to many industries by improving strength, stiffness and weight reduction,” Connie Jackson, CEO of LeMond Composites, said. “If you imagine replacing steel, aluminum and fiberglass with our carbon fiber, you can begin to understand the scope of the potential market. Our process will have global applications and we are ready to move forward with scaling the technology.”

“We have assembled the only team in the world that has executed this proven technology that uniquely positions us to deliver a successful outcome for our customers and stakeholders,” Greg LeMond, Co-founder of LeMond Composites, said. “From our experience, I know that having the right team is a distinct business advantage.”

Offering solutions for high-volume, low-cost carbon fiber, LeMond Composites has secured a licensing agreement with U.S. Department of Energy’s ORNL, according to state officials. The agreement will make LeMond Composites the first company to offer this new industry-disrupting carbon fiber to the transportation, renewable energy, and infrastructure markets.

“LeMond Composites’ new carbon fiber technology, licensed from ORNL, has the potential to transform the automotive and aerospace industries as well as renewable energy and infrastructure markets,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “This decision to invest in Tennessee underscores the incredible resources ORNL has to offer companies looking to tap into one of the world’s top research centers, and one that is constantly on the cutting edge of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. On behalf of Team Tennessee, I’d like to thank LeMond Composites for its investment and commitment to create nearly 250 new jobs in Roane County.”

Governor Bill Haslam said, “Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of the state’s greatest assets, and the partnership between LeMond and ORNL will only strengthen Tennessee’s world-renowned reputation for manufacturing advanced, innovative products. LeMond Composites’ decision to invest in Tennessee brings us another step closer toward of goal of being the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

The breakthrough process invented by Jackson and a research team at ORNL’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility will significantly reduce production costs relative to the lowest cost of industrial grade carbon fiber, state officials said.This new carbon fiber has the mechanical properties of carbon fiber, but costs significantly less. Until now, manufacturing carbon fiber was an extremely energy-intensive process. This new method greatly reduces energy consumed during production.

“The successful transition of this technology to the private sector demonstrates the Department of Energy’s commitment to invest in scientific research and development to address the nation’s energy challenges and deliver solutions to the marketplace,” Thomas Zacharia, ORNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology, said.

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