Australia's Syrah Resources to expand Louisiana graphite processing facility

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Australian industrial materials firm Syrah Resources (SYR.AX) will expand its Louisiana facility to process graphite used in electric vehicle batteries, U.S. state agency Louisiana Economic Development said on Tuesday.

Syrah will add 180,000 square feet of real estate to its existing 50,000 square-foot Louisiana facility and invest $176 million in the city of Vidalia to process graphite into active anode material used in electric vehicle batteries.

A subsidiary of Syrah in December signed an agreement with electric carmaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) to supply graphite.

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The state agency said Syrah expects the expansion work to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and production to likely start in the third quarter of 2023.

Louisiana Governor John Edwards said the expansion was a step towards helping electric-vehicle manufacturers leverage the state's logistical advantages to meet rising demand for EVs.

The expansion will allow Syrah to produce 11,250 tonnes of active anode material, the state agency said.

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Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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