LGES to source graphite anode material from Novonix
South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution (LGES) and US battery materials company Novonix have signed an agreement to develop artificial graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries. A supply contract could follow soon.
LGES says it has been in informal talks with Novonix since December 2022 about funding and jointly developing an artificial graphite anode material that meets its specifications. Now the collaboration is becoming official. The material is to be developed at Novonix’s current facilities in the US state of Tennessee.
Upon successful completion of certain development work, LGES and Novonix also intend to enter into a separate agreement that will provide LG Energy Solution with the option to purchase up to 50,000 tonnes of artificial graphite anode material over a ten-year period from the start of mass production. Novonix will also issue US$30 million worth of unsecured convertible bonds to LGES.
LGES says it will “maximise the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)” with the new cooperation by expanding local battery production in North America and establishing a local supply chain for battery components. In this context, the South Korean company says that it will also push for the localisation of battery component manufacturing and assembly, including electrodes, cells and modules.
“Our partnership with NOVONIX once again demonstrates LG Energy Solution’s determination to establish a solid battery supply chain in the US, complementing our local manufacturing network to meet our customer’s needs for lRA-compliant batteries,” expressed Dongsoo Kim, Senior Vice President of Procurement Center at LG Energy Solution. “As we work with NOVONIX in developing a new source of artificial graphite anode material, we will stay committed to strengthening our product competitiveness and operation excellence, delivering the world-best quality products both in scale and with speed.”
The new Chattanooga-based partner company is seeking to establish a supply chain for high-performance synthetic graphite in North America, for which it is receiving a $150 million grant from the US Department of Energy to drive expansion. Novonix plans to begin mass production of its active anode material in 2026 at a yet-to-be-located US facility with an initial production capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year. In addition to LGES, the company “continues to have discussions with other OEMs and cell manufacturers about sourcing anode materials from its facility”.
Chris Burns, CEO of Novonix, says he is pleased to “formalize our work with LG Energy Solution and establish the path for NOVONIX to become a supplier for LGES of artificial graphite anode material in the United States”. This agreement underlines his company’s leading position in building a supply chain for high-performance artificial graphite for the battery industry in North America.