Trafigura and EVelution Energy sign Memorandum of Understanding on U.S. cobalt processing facility
Singapore, 24 October 2022 – Trafigura, one of the world’s largest physical commodity traders, and EVelution Energy, a U.S. EV battery materials processing company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the development of a battery-grade cobalt sulphate processing facility in the State of Arizona, USA.
With an expected annual capacity of 7,000 tonnes of cobalt, the new processing facility will be able to meet 40 percent of the expected 2027 cobalt demand in relation to US-domestic production of electric vehicles. An expansion to include a nickel sulphate processing facility is also being studied.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Trafigura in the development of our solar-powered, carbon-neutral, battery-grade cobalt processing facility, the first of its kind in the United States. The development of a domestic electric vehicle battery-material manufacturing infrastructure, particularly a solar powered facility, is of key importance and increases the self-sufficiency of the United States in an important and fast-growing industry,” said Navaid Alam, President of EVelution Energy.
“Our new processing facility, which is being built in a Qualified Opportunity Zone in Yuma County Arizona, is expected to have a huge economic impact on the local economy, generating more than 360 well-paid jobs over the life of the project,” added Gil Michel-Garcia, Executive VP and General Counsel of EVelution Energy.
Under the MOU, Trafigura will assist EVelution with a supply of raw materials and assist EVelution with marketing its production of cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate, supporting the development of a U.S. electric vehicle battery supply chain and the electrification of the U.S. automotive fleet.
The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, introduced in August 2022, offers tax credits and incentives for automakers using battery metals produced domestically. Currently more than 80 percent of the world’s battery grade cobalt is processed in China, leaving the U.S. and other western carmakers reliant on imports.
EVelution Energy is expected to start construction of its processing facility in late 2023. Its solar power plant will supply not only all of its own power needs, but is also expected to support the surrounding agricultural industry with clean power.
Trafigura is working with the global automotive and batteries industry to help support the shift to battery powered vehicles. “A lack of midstream refining and cathode manufacturing capacity means that car makers in the U.S. and Europe are heavily reliant on imports for key battery materials. We see this as a gap that Trafigura can help fill by linking our raw material sourcing capabilities with new battery and electric vehicle production capacities in North America,” said Socrates Economou, Global Head of Nickel and Cobalt Trading at Trafigura.
Notes to editors
Founded in 1993, Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. At the heart of global supply, Trafigura connects the world with the vital resources it needs. Through our Oil & Petroleum Products, Metals & Minerals, and Power & Renewables divisions, we deploy infrastructure, skills and a global network to move commodities from where they are plentiful to where they are needed most, forming strong relationships that make supply chains more efficient, secure and sustainable.
Trafigura also owns and operates a number of industrial assets including global multi-metals producer Nyrstar and fuel storage and distribution company Puma Energy; and joint ventures Impala Terminals, a port and logistics provider, and Nala Renewables, a power and renewable energy investment and development platform. Trafigura is owned by its employees and employs over 13,000 people working in 48 countries.
About EVelution Energy
EVelution Energy is a newly formed “qualified opportunity zone” business focused on building and operating the first solar-powered, carbon-neutral, Electric Vehicle (EV) battery-grade materials processing facility in the United States. EVelution Energy’s proposed processing facility is located in a “qualified opportunity zone” in Yuma County, Arizona.
EVelution Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the EVelution Energy QOZ Fund, a newly formed US based “qualified opportunity zone” fund, organized for the purpose of investing in “qualified opportunity zone” properties and businesses in the United States. The Qualified Opportunity Zone Program was established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to provide a tax incentive for private, long-term investments in economically distressed communities.
EVelution Energy is led by an execution-focused team of experienced professionals with extensive international experience in successfully completing large strategic infrastructure projects in various locations worldwide.