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New auto supplier factory to be built in Warren, create high-paying jobs

A new factory to supply battery materials to electric vehicles will be built in Warren, creating jobs that will pay an average of $40 an hour.

Graphex Technologies and Emerald Energy Solutions said Tuesday they will build a 150,000 square-foot graphite processing facility at Emerald Business Park on Hoover Road near 8 Mile Road and Groesbeck Highway.

The facility, which will cost $50 million to $60 million, will process natural graphite. Graphite is used in lithium ion batteries to power EVs, adding to domestic manufacturing of crucial materials for EVs.

“The significance of this milestone cannot be overstated, not just for Graphex as we execute on our global diversification and expansion strategy, but for the overall U.S. EV industry as it begins to extricate itself from overly complex supply chains,” John DeMaio, CEO of Graphex Technologies, said in a statement.

The new plant will employ 125 people when it is at full capacity, running on three eight-hour shifts a day, said Yasmeen Dohan, a Graphex spokeswoman.

Hiring will start three to six months prior to start-up, which is expected in the second quarter next year. The jobs will pay $15 to $60 an hour and consist of:


Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst leading Guidehouse Insights’ E-Mobility solution, said when it comes to lithium ion batteries,  many automakers want to localize production for safety and cost efficiency.

Then there is the fragility of the global supply chain this past year that has disrupted new-vehicle production. It all demonstrates a need to de-globalize the battery supply chain.

Most battery cells are produced in China and South Korea, he said. The materials are sourced from Africa, South America and Asia. As EV production grows in North America, “shipping all of this around the world multiple times make no sense,” Abuelsamid said.

General Motors will have its joint venture Ultium Cells LLC plants in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. LG Energy Solution is expanding in Holland, Michigan. Ford’s BlueOvalSK will be in Kentucky and Tennessee.

“It makes sense to put a graphite processing plant somewhere in the middle of all of this,” Abuelsamid said, “It’s important to ensure that those plants can be fed with necessary materials.”


Posted By: Detroit Free Press on March 22, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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