$220 million awarded to Syrah to expand Vidalia operation

Published 10:40 am Thursday, October 20, 2022

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VIDALIA, La. — Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that two companies in Louisiana have been awarded $320 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to expand manufacturing of electric vehicle battery components.

One of these was Syrah Technologies, which has been awarded $220 million to construct a new facility in Vidalia and expand its production of Active Anode Material derived from graphite, which is a key component of lithium-ion batteries.

Koura has been awarded $100 million to build the first U.S. manufacturing plant for lithium hexafluoridephosphate (LiPF6) on the grounds of the company’s existing site in St. Gabriel.

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“These massive investments will have transformational impacts in Vidalia and St. Gabriel and create hundreds of jobs,” Edwards said. “This is another step forward in our important work to diversify and grow Louisiana’s economy, create good-paying jobs, and become leaders in the global energy transition as we move toward our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. I would like to thank U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm for awarding Louisiana this funding, and I would also like to thank President Biden, Senator Bill Cassidy, and Representative Troy Carter for their support of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that made this possible.”

Over two phases, Syrah’s new facility is expected to create 221 jobs in Vidalia.

Construction is already underway, with the start of production expected in the third quarter of 2023. Syrah’s Vidalia facility will be the only vertically integrated and large-scale natural graphite AAM outside China.

Koura’s new plant is expected to create up to 80 new jobs and solve a critical risk in the supply chain for lithium-ion battery production in the U.S., as there are currently no large-scale domestic producers of LiPF6. All of it must be imported from Asia.

They are expected to produce enough LiPF6 for the domestic production of more than one million electric vehicles per year.

“This is truly a remarkable time for manufacturing in America, as President Biden’s Agenda and historic investments supercharge the private sector to ensure our clean energy future is American-made,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Producing advanced batteries and components here at home will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles, creating good-paying jobs across the country.”

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) also announced that Louisiana will receive $319,820,610 from his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to bolster U.S. battery manufacturing and compete with China.

Specifically, Syrah Technologies LLC in Vidalia will receive $219,820,610 to expand its commercial-scale natural graphite active anode material facility and Mexichem Flour, Incorporated (dba Koura) in St. Gabriel will receive $100,000,000 to build the first U.S. manufacturing plant for lithium hexafluorophosphate on the grounds of Koura’s existing fluorochemical production site in St. Gabriel.

As part of the program, Syrah and Koura will be contributing an additional $224,996,240 and $306,584,087 in private investment to their respective projects, bringing the total investment in Louisiana as a result of this program to $851,400,937.

Thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill funding, Koura is expected to add 80 new jobs to the St. Gabriel facility and Syrah is expected to add 221 jobs in Louisiana.

Louisiana’s share announced today constitutes 11% of the $2.8 billion in funding under IIJA to grow and strengthen the U.S. battery supply chain and increase U.S. competitiveness with China.

“More good news for Louisiana coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This will make batteries produced in the United States more competitive worldwide, along the way employing lots of folks here in Louisiana. It’s good for our state, good for our nation.”