Graphex Group’s graphite processing facility in Metro Detroit to support EV battery production across the United States is expected to be operational in Q2 2023
ROYAL OAK, Mich., March 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Graphex Technologies, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Graphex Group Limited (collectively “Graphex”) (OTCQX: GRFXY | HKSE: 6128) and a global leader in the deep mid-stream processing of natural graphite for use in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, has announced that, as part of its previously announced collaboration with Emerald Energy Solutions LLC (“EES”), the Emerald Business Park (EBP) in the City of Warren has been selected for the future site of a new 150,000 square-foot graphite processing facility. The processing facility would be developed under a joint venture between Graphex and EES, a team made up of lifelong Michiganders with a stellar reputation for specialized construction and power installation and a positive track record of experience within the City of Warren, and is expected to bring about 125 new jobs at full capacity, bring new technology to the area, and establish US-based processing of a critical mineral element for use in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The EBP location features key existing infrastructure that allows for a streamlined construction schedule and a rapid transition into production, including a newly installed 12-megawatt power substation on the property and vacant structures that can be revitalized and repurposed relatively quickly. The talent base, existing automotive supply chain infrastructure, available state and local support and available incentives, and proximity to customers at the heart of the automotive industry, helped to differentiate Michigan from competing regions for this first important foothold for Graphex in the US and serves as evidence of Michigan’s commitment to revitalize distressed areas and to bring new jobs and new technology into the state. The processing facility development is subject to customary conditions, including finalization of definitive documentation and permitting.
Graphex plans that the facility will be capable of delivering up to 15,000 metric tons per annum (TPA) of coated purified spherical graphite and that it will be operational before the end of Q2 2023. Coated purified spherical graphite is the predominant anode material for most Li-ion batteries used in EVs and renewable energy storage. The facility would provide timely and localized anode material production capabilities to supply major North American EV automakers and EV battery manufacturers and to rapidly deliver consistent high-quality materials at scale, greatly mitigating some of the supply chain interruption concerns that have plagued the EV industry in the past. This facility would be the first of several that Graphex may potentially construct in the US, Canada, and Europe as warranted by market conditions and commercial opportunities.
The processing and supply of coated purified spherical graphite is expected to significantly increase year over year to keep pace with the projected significant increase in demand for EVs in the US and worldwide. Developing this initial US location is an important part of Graphex’s strategy for the global expansion and diversification of its graphene production capabilities and is bolstered by recent announcements by the Biden-Harris Administration that support expansion of the domestic supply of critical minerals powering clean energy technologies, including graphite, to meet the burgeoning demand for EV battery materials, especially as global supply chains remain strained and geopolitical tensions remain high.
The EBP facility will house production, storage, testing and administrative offices at a site that played a supporting role to the Michigan automotive dynasties for decades before falling into disrepair. The site’s historical character as a 20th century supplier to the automotive industry is meaningful and noteworthy to both EES and Graphex. All 150,000 square feet of the buildings that will be used to produce, store, test, and distribute EV battery anode material were previously home to one of the more significant electroplating and rustproofing service providers to time-honored Michigan automakers. A plaque found on site dating back to 1963 will be preserved for its historical distinction, serving as a reminder of the past and as a motivation to return an otherwise defunct site back to its original vitality and usefulness in the community and the industry.
“The city of Warren welcomes Graphex and looks forward to the development of the new graphite processing facility within our automotive-centric city,” said James R. Fouts, Mayor of Warren. “For decades, Warren has served as an integral location for the auto industry to fuel innovation and design, and to power new technologies. As the collective shift to electric vehicles occurs, Warren will once again serve as an essential region to meet the needs of industry leaders like Graphex.”
“Auto manufacturing runs through the veins of Warren and her workforce, and we are thrilled to play a role in the revitalization of the city’s and the industry’s storied tradition,” said John DeMaio, CEO of Graphex Technologies and President of the Graphene Division of Graphex. “The significance of this milestone cannot be overstated, not just for Graphex as we execute on our global diversification and expansion strategy, but for the overall US EV industry as it begins to extricate itself from overly complex supply chains. It is also fitting that as the automotive industry re-invents itself and evolves, we are able to upcycle a site that once hummed with automotive activity to give it new life in the EV revolution and we could not be more pleased with EES’s no-nonsense approach and superior execution capabilities. The opportunity to realize a high growth market opportunity while at the same time sharing our technological expertise and creating much needed well-paying jobs in the Warren community is an all-around win. Our ability and agility to deliver critical EV battery anode technology rapidly will allow us to serve as a local supplier to some of the world’s top automakers for years to come.”
The EES team is equally pleased with the selection of EBP as the leading site for Graphex in the US. “As lifelong residents of Southeast Michigan, this opportunity to complete the resurrection of this industrial site and to bring jobs back to Warren is extremely satisfying,” said David Halabu, Managing Partner of EES. “The groundwork that was done previously to bring EBP from defunct building carcasses to its current revenue-generating, job-creating state will serve to accelerate Graphex’s goal of producing battery grade anode materials to the local market.”
About Graphex Group
Graphex Group Limited is a Cayman Island company with principal and administrative offices in Hong Kong and subsidiary office in Royal Oak, MI. Graphex is a global leader in the industry focused on the development of technologies and products for the enhancement of renewable energy, particularly the enrichment of spherical graphite and graphene, key components for Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries, lithium-ion batteries, and other use cases. Proficient in commercial deep processing of graphite, Graphex is currently producing over 10,000 metric tons of spherical graphite annually. With a strategy to expand its global operations to support energy transition and electrification efforts worldwide, Graphex Group is currently among the top suppliers of specialized spherical graphite to the EV and renewable energy industries and holds patents in areas including products, production methods, machinery design, and environmental protection.
About Emerald Energy Solutions
Emerald Energy Solutions LLC has its principal offices in Royal Oak, MI and is experienced in all aspects of site assessment and selection, inspections, acquisitions, regulatory approval, supply sourcing, legal and financial affairs for the design and construction of first-class manufacturing and processing facilities in the Detroit metropolitan area as well as other states. Its affiliated entity currently operates a 23-acre industrial park in Warren, MI featuring a 12-megawatt power substation and 400,000 rentable square feet. The complex was recently renovated into several manufacturing and first-class processing facilities.
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The Board (the “Board”) of directors (the “Directors”) of Graphex Group Limited (the “Company”) together with its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Group”) is pleased to announce that Mr. John DeMaio (“Mr. DeMaio”) has been appointed as the president of the graphene division of the Company and the chief executive officer of Graphex Technologies LLC (“Graphex Technologies”), the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company in the United States.
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