Colorado company locating plant for producing graphite for electric vehicles in Alabama

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A processing plant planned for east Alabama will produce a key component that’s needed to build batteries for electric vehicles and other applications, officials said Tuesday.

Westwater Resources Inc. of Centennial, Colorado, plans to open the factory in Coosa County, where 100 new jobs will be created with an initial investment of at least $80 million, the governor’s office said in a statement. The factory should begin operating by the end of 2022.

Alabama Graphite Products, a subsidiary of Westwater Resources, will produce graphite, which is used in lithium-ion and other types of batteries. Located in an area where graphite can be mined, the factory will be the nation’s first major producer of refined graphite, said the statement.

Alabama already has four automotive manufacturing plants, and adding a facility that will produce a component of electric vehicles will help attract manufacturing jobs, said Gov. Kay Ivey.

Alabama Graphite will produce about 7,500 tons of battery-grade graphite annually at first, eventually doubling in capacity.