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2 Companies Split $320M to Make EV Batteries in La.

The investments will help lessen the auto industry's reliance on the overseas supply chain.

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A pair of Louisiana companies 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.

Governor John Bel Edwards yesterday announced that Syrah Technologies in Vidalia will receive a $220 million award and Koura in St. Gabriel will net $100 million.

Syrah will use the funds to build a new facility in Vidalia to expand production of Active Anode Material (AAM). Derived from graphite, AAM is a key component of lithium-ion batteries.

Spanning two phases, the new facility will create 221 jobs. Construction is currently underway, with start of production expected in the third quarter of 2023. Syrah’s facility will be the only vertically integrated and large-scale natural graphite AAM outside China.

According to the Department of Energy, Syrah will contribute $225 million to build the facility.

Koura plans to erect the first U.S. manufacturing plant for lithium hexafluoridephosphate (LiPF6) at the company’s existing site in St. Gabriel. The new plant is expected to create up to 80 new jobs.

The facility will 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 and 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.

Koura will invest $307 million to build the LiPF6 facility.

“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, in a statement. “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 more good-paying jobs across the country.”

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