6K Energy Gets $50M Federal Grant to Build EV Battery Material Factory in Tennessee 

The $200 million facility will use microwave plasma technology to produce materials at considerably lower costs than Chinese suppliers.


The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $50 million to 6K Energy, to go toward construction of its PlusCAM facility in Jackson, TN, a project exceeding $200 million.

6K Energy is a leader in the production of critical materials for lithium-ion batteries. The facility will employ the company's UniMelt microwave plasma technology, enabling the production of cathode active material (CAM) for NMC and LFP batteries at considerably lower costs than Chinese suppliers, while boasting superior environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. This technology significantly reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Sam Trinch, president of 6K Energy, emphasized the strategic importance of CAM in breaking free from dependence on China for critical battery components.

The PlusCAM factory, with its expected launch in Q4 2024, aims to be the first of its kind in the U.S., boasting zero hazardous waste, 90% less water usage and reduced energy requirements. Rob Davies, COO of 6K Energy, said 40% of the facility's workforce will be hired from disadvantaged, veteran, disabled or diverse communities, in alignment with the goals of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Justice 40 Initiative.

The DOE's $50 million grant, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will facilitate the construction of the PlusCAM facility and support workforce development, ensuring a safe and rewarding working environment. The facility is expected to provide significant employment opportunities, with plans to hire around 230 employees at full capacity.

The UniMelt technology, already in full-scale production at 6K Energy's sister company, 6K Additive, has proven its capability in producing metal powders for additive manufacturing. The PlusCAM plant, spanning 160,000 square feet, is set to achieve an annual capacity of 13kt of various cathode active materials.

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