Magnis Energy and EcoGraf ride wave of lithium-ion investor interest
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Lithium-ion battery company Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX:MNS) has doubled to 32 cents per share since its mid-January low as the firm announced Monday it had raised $34m in a heavily-oversubscribed capital raising.
The funds raised from institutional and sophisticated investors will be used to fast-track its iM3NY lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the US state of New York.
“Stronger investor appetite for clean energy technologies was evident through the overwhelming demand for this raise,” chairman, Frank Poullas, said.
The plant will be one of the largest lithium-ion cell manufacturers in the United States and is to begin production later this year.
“We have been working hard to achieve this funding for our New York project and to become a significant global producer of lithium-ion batteries,” said Poullas.
Evolution Capital Advisors was the lead manager for the company’s capital raising that was priced at 28 cents per share, and because of its size the placement was split into two tranches.
Each share will have an attached option with a strike price of 50 cents per share with a two-year expiry date.
The company has also sourced a range of debt and equity opportunities to secure project financing for the New York battery plant with finalisation anticipated by the end of March.
Separately, Magnis Energy’s business partner Charge C4V has been selected to supply its CCCV (C4V) lithium-ion battery to the US government’s Department of Energy.
C4V has found ways to build a lithium-ion battery that reduces use of potentially toxic materials such as cadmium and heavy metals, and leads to less pollution.
“For example, it appears that comparable batteries can use nearly double the amount of copper used in the C4V battery and copper refining is ofter a primary driver in particulate emissions in battery manufacturing,” said consultancy Abt Associates which assessed the impact of C4V’s battery production.
The US Department of Energy is developing a solar-powered hybrid system for grid stabilisation in a project led by Binghamton University and includes the New York Power Authority.
“C4V is a leading lithium-ion battery technology company and has developed a long cycle life battery technology that could be a perfect match for renewable energy integration,” Binghamton University associate professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr Ziang Zhang, said.
Magnis Energy has a 10 per cent shareholding in C4V and its grid stabilisation project will enhance grid stability through the coordination of multiple solar plants including battery storage units from C4V.
The framework will be demonstrated in a 1-megawatt hybrid solar power plant controlled by grid-forming inverters at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
“We are very excited to be selected in another US government project and being the sole partner providing cutting edge lithium-ion battery technology immensely favourable to renewable energy adoption,” Charge CCCV president, Shailesh Upreti, said.
New York’s Clean Energy Standard was revised in 2019 to require 100 per cent carbon-free electricity in the US state by 2040, when 29 per cent came from renewable sources in 2018.
The share price of EcoGraf (ASX:EGR) has risen 36 per cent since Thursday to 68c per share as the company starts detailed engineering work for its new battery facility in WA.
The design and engineering work for the battery facility has been awarded to GR Engineering Services (ASX:GNG) and EcoGraf’s will be the first plant of its kind outside of China.
“This new facility will be important in meeting the growing global demand for high quality battery related products and GR Engineering is excited to be part of this new Western Australian based industry,” GR Engineering Services managing director, Geoff Jones, said.
The WA processing facility will use EcoGraf’s trade-marked purification technology to deliver high quality and sustainably-produced battery anode products to EV lithium-ion battery and anode manufacturers.
An advantage of the EcoGraf technology is its elimination of toxic hydrofluoric acid, providing customers with HF free battery products that can be recycled.
The company has undertaken extensive testing of its battery anodes to validate their quality and performance.
Its graphite battery anodes recently passed European Union test standards for battery recycling.
Forecasts show that the battery graphite market is set to grow by more than 30 per cent a year over the 2020s as the world moves to EVs and renewable energy sources.