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UPDATE 1-U.S. finalizes $102.1 mln loan to Syrah Resources for Louisiana plant

UPDATE 1-U.S. finalizes $102.1 mln loan to Syrah Resources for Louisiana plant

Reuters · 07/27/2022 16:42
UPDATE 1-U.S. finalizes $102.1 mln loan to Syrah Resources for Louisiana plant

Adds Granholm, Stabenow, more details

By David Shepardson

- The U.S. Energy Department said on Wednesday it had closed a $102.1 million loan to Syrah Technologies LLC SRHYY for expansion of a facility that produces graphite-based active anode material, a key component for lithium-ion batteries.

It was the first loan from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program finalized since 2011, and the first ATVM loan exclusively for an automotive supply chain manufacturing project. Reuters first reported the planned loan in April.

Australia-based Syrah plans to use the loan to expand the Louisiana plant that will process graphite mined from Mozambique into anodes, the positively charged electrode of a battery. The facility is expected to produce enough anodes for 2.3 million electric vehicles by 2040.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of 50% of U.S. auto production by 2030 being electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

On Monday, the Energy Department said it intends to loan a joint venture of General Motors Co GM and LG Energy Solution 373220.KS $2.5 billion to help finance construction of lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities from the same ATVM program.

Republicans in Congress have been hammering the Biden administration over high gasoline prices and Democrats have focused on EVs, which currently cost more than internal combustion models.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the administration has been pushing for tax credits to cut the price of EVs "so that they are affordable." She said EVs "are so much cheaper to drive and maintain."

"We do want to see battery technology weaponized or have any constraints in the supply chain globally with countries that do share our values," Granholm said, saying the loan program will help to further reduce battery costs.

The White House last year proposed boosting EV tax credits to up to $12,500 per vehicle and lifting the existing 200,000-vehicle $7,500 credit per manufacturer cap.

Senator Debbie Stabenow told Reuters on Tuesday that the effort to win an EV tax credit extension would happen before Oct. 1 but vowed to keep trying.


(Reporting by David Shepardson)

((David.Shepardson@thomsonreuters.com; 2028988324;))