Syrah Resources to receive $107 million US loan for EV plant in Louisiana

Australian graphite miner Syrah Resources will receive a US$107 million loan from the US Department of Energy that will be contribute to the expansion of its electric vehicle (EV) parts plant in Louisiana.

The US under President Joe Biden has set aggressive targets for half of all vehicles sold in the US to be electric by 2030. This is the first occasion that the US will provide a loan to a non-automaker through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan programme

Syrah, which produces graphite from a mine in Mozambique, plans to use the funding from the ATVM to develop its US-based anode plant. The Louisiana facility is expected to produce enough anodes to build 2.3 million EVs by 2040.

“The US is serious about onshoring the battery manufacturing and critical materials supply chains,” Jigar Shah, head of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, told Reuters. He estimated the US only has about 5% of the manufacturing capacity needed to hit Biden’s 2030 target.

The loan is conditional pending final paperwork. Syrah said it expects the loan to close by June and funds to be dispersed by September. Syrah, which has a deal to supply anodes to Tesla starting in 2024, completed a stock offering in February to help further fund the $176 million project.

Lithium Americas Corp, ioneer Ltd, Lordstown Motors Corp and Piedmont Lithium Inc have all recently applied for ATVM loans.