WASHINGTON – A critical mineral company with a supply agreement Tesla Inc. with battery graphite a conditional loan of up to $ 107 million was provided from the Biden administration to finance the expansion of the plant in the United States.

The American division of Syrah Resources Ltd. will use the money to expand its facility in Vidalia, Louise, to produce enough natural active graphite-based anode for about 2.5 million electric vehicles by 2040, according to the Department of Energy. said on Monday in a blog post. The loan comes at a time when the Biden administration is seeking to create an internal supply chain for batteries for electric vehicles.

Syrah of Melbourne has signed a four-year sales agreement with Tesla to sell most of the graphite anode materials produced at the Vidalia plant, with the option to purchase more subject to expansion. The facility plans to recycle graphite from Mozambique to become the first U.S. source of graphite anodes for the country’s fastest-growing EV and lithium-ion batteries industry.

Graphite is a critical component for lithium-ion batteries, but the U.S. is 100 percent dependent on imported graphite because China produces nearly all of the high-purity mineral needed to make batteries, the Department of Energy’s blog said.

Upon completion, this will be the first loan under the Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Agency’s lending program in more than a decade.

The Biden administration is reviving the agency’s broader credit program, which was extinguished under former President Donald Trump. Trump offered to destroy the initiative, but later used it to critically support Southern Co.’s Vogtle nuclear power plant. in Georgia.

The loan program bureau, which has more than $ 40 billion in credit powers, previously provided $ 465 million to Tesla, helped fund the country’s first large-scale solar photovoltaic projects, and provided a $ 535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra LLC, a California-based company. . 2011

In December, the program offered a $ 1.04 billion conditional loan guarantee to Monolith Inc., a project to convert natural gas to hydrogen, the first such conditional loan guarantee under President Joe Biden.

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