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Australia-Based Syrah Resources Expands Vidalia, Louisiana, Graphite Processing Facility

Syrah Resources is investing $176 million to expand its Syrah Technologies graphite processing facility in Vidalia, Louisiana. The project is expected to create 36 new jobs.

The company will add 180,000 square feet of building and processing space to its existing 50,000 square-foot facility, enough to install equipment and systems for processing natural graphite into active anode material used in lithium-ion batteries for the electric vehicle industry. The expansion comes on the heels of a December 2021 offtake agreement with Tesla Inc. to supply natural graphite AAM for use in batteries.

“This is a confirmation of our vision to develop the first AAM facility in the U.S. and in Louisiana,” Syrah Resources CEO Shaun Verner said. “Louisiana has all the right elements for the development of new technology in the manufacturing sector, including a vision for sustainable development that aligns well with Syrah’s values. Vidalia is a great community that has access to technology centers and benefits from excellent supply chain logistics optionality for this and potentially future expansions.”

The State of Louisiana offered Syrah a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart, the No. 1 ranked state workforce development program in the nation for the past 12 years. Syrah Technologies is expected to utilize Louisiana’s competitive incentives, including the Industrial Tax Exemption Program and the Quality Jobs program for Louisiana-based employees.

“This is just the beginning of Louisiana’s efforts to help vehicle manufacturers leverage our state’s unique logistical advantages to meet increasing electric car and truck demand,” Governor John Bel Edwards added. “We congratulate Syrah for its commitment to sustainability, and applaud their continued investment in rural Louisiana.”

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Syrah Technologies is the subsidiary of Syrah Resources, which owns the Balama Graphite Operation in Mozambique. The Balama site is home to globally significant natural graphite resources, and it is the world’s largest integrated natural graphite mine and processing operation.

“Congratulations to Syrah Technologies and the people of Concordia Parish on this important economic development announcement,” Louisiana Central President and CEO Jim Clinton said. “Syrah’s investment will continue to diversify and expand the economy of Central Louisiana and provide critically needed high-paying jobs. The company is solidifying its position in the global supply chain for the making of lithium ion batteries. Concordia’s strategic location on the Mississippi River is a highly valued asset for companies like Syrah.”

The expansion, which will allow for the annual production of an estimated 11,250 tonnes of AAM, is central to Syrah’s strategy to become a large-scale vertically integrated natural graphite AAM supply option for the growing U.S. battery supply chain and electric vehicle market. Construction is projected to be completed in mid-2023, with AAM production beginning in the third quarter of 2023.

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