Australia-Based Company Proposes $480 Million Investment in EV Battery Materials Facility in Louisiana

Published April 13, 2023

Australia-Based Company Proposes $480 Million Investment in EV Battery Materials Facility in Louisiana

Louisiana – An Australia-based company has proposed a $480 million investment in an EV battery materials facility in Louisiana.

On April 12, 2023, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) announced that Element 25, an Australian mining company, is considering proposals to invest $480 million in two phases to develop a high-purity manganese sulfate monohydrate production facility in Ascension Parish. The new factory would be the first in the Western Hemisphere to produce HPMSM, a vital component in electric vehicle batteries.

If the facility is built, the company reportedly intends to create up to 220 new direct positions with average annual incomes of more than $90,000. According to Louisiana Economic Development, the project will create an additional 408 new jobs possibilities, totaling about 628 new jobs in Louisiana

“Louisiana’s emergence as a national leader in clean energy investment is no accident,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said. “It is the result of our state’s commitment to climate action and an economic development strategy that emphasizes an all-of-the-above approach to energy. Companies like Element 25 see the strategic advantages of doing business in our state, from top-notch logistics to our skilled, dynamic workforce.”

According to reports, Element 25 intends to import raw materials from its Butcherbird Mine in Western Australia, while many of the remaining HPMSM inputs will be sourced from Louisiana companies. The Element 25 manufacturing process generates three reusable by-product streams that can be repurposed as fertilizer feedstocks, steel manufacturing, and other industrial operations. As a result, the facility is able to reduce its solid and liquid waste.

“Element 25 is excited to consider Louisiana in progressing our vision to build the first new HPMSM facility outside of China to supply the EV transition,” Element 25 Limited MD Justin Brown said. “The attractive incentives offered by the state fast tracked approvals processes and the far-reaching impact of the Inflation Reduction Act, has moved Louisiana to the number one location for Element 25’s first HPMSM facility, with other developments expected to follow.”

The company has finished a feasibility analysis for several sites and hopes to make a final choice on the location in the coming months. Work on the new facility is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023, with operations beginning in 2026.

“Ascension Parish has an exceptional workforce, robust infrastructure, and a thriving business community,” said Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment. “We’re pleased that these compelling location attributes led Element 25 to consider Ascension for their first United States manufacturing plant. This project would provide a remarkable amount of local employment opportunities in a growing sector of the clean energy industry.”

The state of Louisiana has given Element 25 a competitive incentive package to support a final decision in Louisiana. The offer includes LED FastStart’s full workforce development solutions as well as a $6 million performance-based grant for infrastructure reimbursement, contingent on the company fulfilling employment and payroll benchmarks. The company is also likely to apply for the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

“We are always looking to build on our success by creating new partnerships,” Ascension Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Kate MacArthur said. “Combining process inputs from our well-established chemical and industrial gas manufacturers with Element 25’s technology will help create a sustainable operation to supply the rapidly growing electric vehicle supply chain in the United States while continuing to grow our local economy.”

“Element 25’s interest in Louisiana’s Capital Region is a testament to the area’s booming transitional energy sector,” said Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber president and CEO. “We have seen over $28 billion in announced or planned transitional energy projects in the region since 2020, and as a leader in sustainable metal production, E25 expands on that recent growth. We are extending a huge congratulations to our partners in Ascension Parish for the fantastic work and vision to move this project closer to fruition.”