Australia company selects Vidalia for $25 million manufacturing project

Published 9:59 am Monday, April 30, 2018

VIDALIA — An Australia company has selected Vidalia for a $25 million manufacturing project that could bring more than 50 jobs to the Miss-Lou.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Melbourne, Australia, company Syrah Resources announced in a news release Monday the selection of a Vidalia site for a graphite processing facility.

The Concordia Parish plant will produce graphite anode materials for batteries in electric vehicles and other products. Syrah plans to house its operations in the parish’s former rubber recycling plant, a 50,000 square-foot industrial building located near the Vidalia Port. The building could be expanded if the company develops additional phases.

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The new project will create 25 new direct jobs with an average salary of $60,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 30 new indirect jobs will also be created.

“Syrah Resources is the latest international company to find that Louisiana is a great place for business investment,” Edwards said.

Syrah Resources mines and produces natural flake graphite in Mozambique and plans to ship the material to Louisiana for further processing. At the Concordia Parish facility, Syrah would refine the material into high-purity spherical graphite for use in battery anodes, with a focus on customers in the automotive industry.

“Syrah originally identified Louisiana as a preferred location, due to a strong manufacturing and experienced employment base, attractive utility and raw material supply opportunities, an extensive logistics network, and most importantly a focus on development from government and community,” Syrah Resources CEO Shaun Verner said. “All of these elements have been clearly demonstrated in the interactions we have had in Vidalia, and we are very positive about the long-term benefit of locating here.”