Two companies will receive $320 million to manufacture battery components in Louisiana for electric vehicles as part of $2.8 billion in grants included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that were awarded by the Biden Administration today.
Louisiana is among 12 states to receive funding, which Gov. John Bel Edwards says in an announcement represents another step toward diversifying the state’s economy.
Syrah Technologies has been awarded $220 million to construct a new facility in Vidalia to expand their production of a material derived from graphite, which is a key component of lithium-ion batteries. Over two phases, the 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 has been awarded $100 million to build the first U.S. manufacturing plant for lithium hexafluorophosphate, or LiPF6, on the grounds of the company’s existing site in St. Gabriel. The new plant is expected to create up to 80 new jobs. This facility will solve a critical risk in the supply chain for lithium-ion battery production in the U.S., according to Edwards’ announcement, 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 a million electric vehicles per year.
The announcement comes as the Biden administration seeks to boost production and sales of electric vehicles as a part of President Joe Biden’s strategy to slow climate change and build up U.S. manufacturing, according to the Associated Press. The federal grants are funded by last year’s $1 trillion infrastructure law and are separate from an executive order Biden issued last spring invoking the Defense Production Act to boost production of lithium and other critical minerals used to power electric vehicles.