The largest synthetic graphite production facility in North America — vital to the state’s burgeoning electric vehicle sector — will soon come to South Georgia.
Anovion Technologies, a startup, said Monday it plans to build an $800 million factory in Bainbridge, in the southwest corner of the state. The plant will supply synthetic graphite for electric battery production, according to a news release. The 1.5 million-square-foot project will employ more than 400 workers, the release said.
The plant further strengthens Georgia’s standing within the emerging U.S. lithium-ion battery supply chain, from parts suppliers for batteries to electric vehicles. Gov. Brian Kemp said Anovion joins the wave of momentum Georgia has within the electric battery ecosystem, adding that the state “is fast becoming the e-mobility capital of the nation.”
“Job creators like (Anovion) are recognizing that every corner of our state has the resources and workforce needed for success,” Kemp said in the release.
Headquartered in Chicago, Anovion was founded last year by combining the graphite businesses of two existing companies, Pyrotek and Amsted Graphite Materials, along with new investment from Monomyth Group, a private equity firm. CEO Eric Stopka told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the two companies formed specifically to address America’s lithium-ion battery needs.
Anovion became one of the country’s first qualified synthetic graphite anode materials suppliers. Graphite is the largest battery material used in electric vehicles, which require multiple rare minerals and metals.
Anodes, which are usually marked with a plus sign on traditional batteries, are positively charged electrodes that allow an electric current to flow. Synthetic graphite is prized in battery applications for its longevity and fast charging.
The federal government has pumped billions of dollars into creating a domestic supply chain for the electrified future of auto travel. In October, Anovion was awarded a $117 million federal grant under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help ramp up domestic battery manufacturing.
The battery supply chain today is controlled largely by China, a fierce geopolitical and economic rival.
“Much of the critical supply chain for e-mobility and manufacturing is currently sourced outside of the U.S.,” Pat Wilson, Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner, said in the release. “Anovion is an innovative industry leader that fills that need and delivers another critical component of the supply chain to Georgia.”
Georgia leaders have prioritized the industry and have been willing to heavily incentivize electric battery and vehicle companies to choose the Peach State as their base of operations. The state has landed gigantic EV manufacturing plants for Hyundai and Rivian in addition to dozens of other projects across the supplier and battery production pipeline.
No details on incentives for Anovion were released Monday, but the company will likely qualify for job creation tax credits and educational assistance for workers through the state’s lauded Quick Start program.
Stopka said his company chose Georgia over several locations due to the Peach State’s growing cluster of EV-related companies.
Anovion will build the plant, its first mass production facility, at the 750-acre Downrange Industrial Park in Bainbridge, the county seat of Decatur County located along Georgia’s southwest border with Florida. The company already operates a smaller factory in New York.
The factory will produce synthetic graphite for use in batteries that power electric vehicles, electric storage systems, electronics and military applications among other products, the release said. Operations are expected to begin in late 2025.
The facility will use a furnace to heat carbon-based fuels, primarily oil refining byproducts called needle coke, to more than 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit to produce artificial graphite. The plant is expected to initially produce 40,000 metric tons of graphite, which Stopka said is enough to power 1 million EV batteries.
“It’s important with all of the battery plants that are being announced in Georgia and in the United States that the U.S. continues to secure the supply chain,” he said. “If we can achieve the double result of doing in a more efficient green manner, we think this is really going to be an important pillar of the battery supply chain in North America.”
Since 2020, at least 40 EV-related projects have been announced in Georgia, totaling nearly $22 billion in investment and 28,000 jobs, according to Kemp’s office. Roughly a fourth of those projects are battery manufacturers, recyclers and suppliers, the state says.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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