- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office has closed a $102.1 million loan to Australia-based Syrah Technologies for the expansion of a Louisiana facility that processes raw materials for electric vehicle batteries, the agency announced Wednesday.
- The Syrah Vidalia Facility will produce enough critical materials for 2.5 million EV batteries by 2040, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in call with reporters.
- It is the second loan announcement from the DOE this week, as the Biden administration works to accelerate the shift to EVs. On Monday the agency announced it plans to loan $2.5 billion to Ultium Cells to develop new lithium-ion cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.
The Biden administration wants to see half of all new car sales be electric by 2030, and it is seeking private-sector leverage to achieve that goal.
“The Loan Programs Office can marshal the unrivaled influence of the private sector,” Granholm said. “The loans issued by them inject certainty into massive clean energy investments. And those investments ... turn promising ideas into thriving markets.”
The Syrah facility produces graphite-based active anode material, which is a critical material used in lithium-ion batteries for EVs and other purposes. Expansion of the Syrah facility will support about 150 construction jobs and 100 operations jobs, Granholm said.
The loan is the first to be made through DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program since 2011, and the first to be made exclusively for a supply chain manufacturing project, the department said.
“We're going to make an essential part of the EV supply chain more secure, more reliable and more independent,” Granholm said. “And that, in turn, is going to give this administration's plans for accelerating electric vehicle adoption an enormous boost.”
The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Pogram has previously made loans to Tesla, Nissan and Ford, and on Monday DOE said it was preparing to assist Ultium Cells, a joint venture of General Motors and South Korea-based battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution.
The loan commitment will help Ultium provide battery cell capacity to support GM’s North American electric vehicle business, which plans to manufacture 1 million EVs annually by 2025.