US energy and logistics company Phillips 66 is to acquire a 16% stake in Novonix, an Australia-based firm that develops and supplies materials for lithium-ion batteries
Phillips 66 said the investment would directly support the development of the US battery supply chain.
The move comes days after an historical Infrastructure Bill, which includes huge investment in supply chains for clean energy technologies, was passed by the US Senate.
Phillips 66 is a global manufacturer of specialty coke, a key precursor in the production of the batteries that power electric vehicles, personal electronics, medical devices and energy storage units.
Novonix produces synthetic graphite and processes specialty coke to make high-performance anode material for lithium-ion batteries.
Novonix’s anode materials business is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it is increasing capacity to produce 10,000 metric tonnes per year of synthetic graphite by 2023. The investment will enable it to produce an additional 30,000 mt/year once the expansion is completed, expected by 2025.
Under the agreement, Phillips 66 will subscribe for nearly 78m ordinary shares of Novonix for a total purchase price of $150m. The US firm will also nominate one director to Novonix’s board of directors.
The US Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act this week. The bill outlines an overarching $1tn investment for a wide range of measures.
Alongside upgrades to highways and water systems, some of this will go towards upgrading the power grid, as well as towards creating a domestic supply chain for electric vehicles and charging stations, plus other clean energy projects, such as battery processing and manufacturing.
Phillips 66 said its investment in lithium battery production supported the development of a fully domestic supply chain for sales into the US electric vehicle and energy storage system markets.
Phillips 66 chairman and CEO Greg Garland said: “It advances our commitment to pursue lower carbon solutions while leveraging our leadership position and expertise in the specialty coke market and supporting Novonix’s emerging position in US-based anode production.”
Novonix CEO and co-founder Chris Burns said: “Phillips 66’s investment will provide us with the capital needed to support growth and ongoing R&D as we continue to scale our synthetic graphite production and develop new technologies for higher-performance energy storage applications.”
The transaction is subject to approval by Novonix shareholders.