6K Energy, a division of 6K and provider of critical materials for lithium-ion batteries, announced the execution of a $50M award with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains for its PlusCAM battery material production plant located in Jackson, TN.
PlusCAM will leverage the company’s proprietary UniMelt microwave plasma technology for cathode active material (CAM) production. 6K Energy maintains that the UniMelt plasma enables it to deliver CAM for NMC and LFP at an appreciably lower cost than Chinese suppliers — with superior ESG metrics including significantly lower energy consumption and emitting far less carbon emissions.
The PlusCAM facility will be the model for supplying battery material to major automotive OEMs and suppliers, such as 6K investor Stellantis and EU auto manufacturers.
“The national concern is focused on onshoring battery cells, but it’s severely misguided. 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,” said Sam Trinch, president of 6K Energy. “We are negotiating offtake agreements to commit our PlusCAM capacity, and the $50M grant helps us reach full-scale production beginning in late 2024 to meet our customer’s CAM supply requirements.”
Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains is managing a portfolio of projects to build out the domestic battery supply chain and grow US manufacturing of batteries and battery materials for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid. 6K Energy’s PlusCAM facility, scheduled to open in Q4 2024, will be the first sustainable production facility in the US with industry leading ESG metrics such as zero hazardous liquid or solid waste, 90% less water use, lower energy consumption, and far less carbon emissions than legacy production technologies.
“For our PlusCAM facility, we are committed to hiring 40% of our workforce from either disadvantaged, veteran, disabled, or diverse communities, which aligns well with the spirit of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Justice 40 Initiative,” explained Rob Davies, COO for 6K Energy. “The $50M grant will be used for construction of the facility and workforce development to ensure our employees have the safest work environment, high-value training programs, and a positive working experience across the board in our Jackson, TN facility.”
The UniMelt technology is already operating at full-scale production at 6K Energy’s sister company, 6K Additive, producing metal powders for additive manufacturing. This facility, located in Burgettstown, PA, on its 45-acre campus, is ISO 9001 certified, running 24/7, producing critical materials such as titanium, nickel alloys, and refractory metals — essential to the nation’s supply chain independence.
6K Energy’s PlusCAM production plant will be a 160,000 sq/ft facility with an annual capacity of 13kt per annum of multiple cathode active materials, including NMC and LFP chemistries. The company has begun hiring in Jackson, TN, and expects to have approximately 230 employees when the factory is at full-scale capacity.
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Filed Under: Batteries, Technology News