Group14 to build battery material plant in Washington

Group14 Technologies has begun construction of its second US factory for the production of battery materials. The campus in Moses Lake, Washington state, will house the world’s largest factory for silicon battery materials for use in electric vehicles, according to Group14.

The first two factory modules, each capable of supplying 2,000 tonnes of the silicon-carbon anode material SCC55, are expected to be operational in 2024, according to a company statement. A total of at least six modules are planned for the one-million-square-foot (93,000-square-metre) site – making a total of 12,000 tonnes of production capacity. However, the company does not say when the sixth module is to go into operation.

Already in the first two modules, 600 new jobs are to be created, specifically in the areas of construction, production and operations. In the long run, however, not so many people will be employed in the plant: 400 people are to be employed for the construction alone, but only 200 jobs are to be created in the areas of production and technology for the daily operation of the plant.

Silicon is used in the anode instead of graphite. As a rule, these are not pure silicon anodes, but an admixture. The rule of thumb is: the more silicon is used, the higher the energy density of the battery, but also the possible charging power increases.

The announcement does not say exactly how much the company is investing in the new plant in Moses Lake. In order to finance the construction project, among other things, Group14 raised a total of 614 million US dollars (currently 561 million euros) last year from investors such as Porsche and Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund. Another 100 million dollars (91 million euros) will come as a grant from the US government.

“Boosting the nation’s global competitiveness in battery manufacturing comes down to strengthening domestic supply chains, which is why we are ramping up our second U.S. factory at the speed in which we need to see innovation scale,” says Rick Luebbe, CEO and co-founder of Group14 Technologies. “By accelerating the timeline for market-ready, transformational battery technology, we are putting the power to electrify everything into the hands of U.S. workers who will become the backbone of the clean energy economy.”


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