Expansion of Louisiana graphite facility could make it the first vertically integrated producer of AAM outside China


An Australian company that built a $25 million graphite processing facility in Louisiana in 2018 is now considering an expansion, Green Car Congress reports.

Syrah Resources has completed a bankable feasibility study for expansion of its natural graphite AAM facility in Vidalia in its strategy to become the first vertically integrated producer of natural graphite advanced anode material, or AAM, outside of China.

Syrah mills and refines flake graphite into high-purity spherical graphite for use in battery anodes, with a focus on customers in the automotive industry.

According to Green Car Congress, the feasibility study confirms that 10ktpa of AAM production can be achieved via expansion of the existing plant and infrastructure within Syrah’s existing 25-acre industrial site. According to the report, the company intends to initially expand natural graphite AAM production capacity at Vidalia to 10ktpa, and then increase in line with growing market demand.

Syrah’s Vidalia facility can produce 5,000 metric tonnes per annum of unpurified spherical graphite and 0.2ktpa of purified spherical graphite to battery specification.

Installation of a furnace in Q1 2021 will enable the capability to produce 0.2ktpa of natural graphite AAM, and will represent the furthest progressed ex-China vertically integrated production of natural graphite AAM globally.

The company has already begun work on front-end engineering and design for the anode material capacity, which it expects to complete in the first quarter of 2021, before beginning detailed design work.

Green Car Congress has the full story.