EV Engineering News

6K Energy wins $50-million DOE grant for PlusCAM battery material production plant in Tennessee

6K Energy, a provider of critical materials for lithium-ion batteries, has won a $50-million grant from the DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains for its PlusCAM battery material production plant located in Jackson, Tennessee. The company will apply the 50 big ones to the estimated $200-million construction cost for the factory.

The PlusCAM plant, scheduled to open in Q4 2024, will be a 160,000 sq ft facility with an annual capacity of 13 kt per annum of multiple cathode active materials (CAM). 6K says the facility will produce no hazardous liquid or solid waste, and will use technologies to minimize water use, energy consumption and carbon emissions.

6K’s PlusCAM plant will use the company’s proprietary UniMelt microwave plasma technology for CAM production. 6K says UniMelt plasma enables it to deliver CAM for both NMC and LFP batteries at an appreciably lower cost than Chinese suppliers, with lower energy consumption and less carbon emissions. The company plans to supply battery material to automotive OEMs and suppliers such as 6K investor Stellantis.

6K Energy’s sister company, 6K Additive, is already using UniMelt technology to produce metal powders for additive manufacturing. This facility, located in Pennsylvania, produces critical materials such as titanium, nickel alloys, and refractory metals.

“The national concern is focused on onshoring battery cells, but it’s severely misguided,” said Sam Trinch, President of 6K Energy. “The most critical item needed to break our reliance on China is CAM. No other production technology, other than UniMelt plasma, is capable of producing CAM with acceptable ESG levels and at costs lower than Asia. We are negotiating offtake agreements to commit our PlusCAM capacity, and the DOE grant helps us reach full-scale production beginning in late 2024 to meet our customer’s CAM supply requirements.”

Source: 6K Energy

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