The NOVONIX Ltd (
Over the past year, the focus of the Company has been on making preparations to scale up its synthetic graphite anode operation to fill the gap in the US supply-chain and meet the demand that will quickly escalate as the world makes its transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and greater use of stationary energy storage at all levels - utility scale, commercial scale and at the household level.
Central to this operation is the strategic alliance with Harper International to develop specialised automated furnace technology that will enhance NOVONIX's graphite manufacturing process. That alliance centres on the development of proprietary systems for the thermal processing of feedstock materials into high performance synthetic graphite for the battery anode market.
In January, the Company announced it was selected to receive a grant from the US Department of Energy through the Advanced Manufacturing Office Critical Minerals FOA. The program was a partnership between NOVONIX, Harper and Phillips 66 and the US$5.6 million under this program will be matched by a US$5.9 million investment by NOVONIX.
Our relationship with Phillips 66 furthered when NOVONIX has welcomed Phillips 66 as a major shareholder with a US$150 million investment for a 16% stake in the Company. Greg Garland, the Chairman and CEO of Phillips 66, said that this was a strategic investment to directly support the development of the U.S. battery supply chain. Mr. Garland also stated that the investment advanced the commitment of Phillips 66 to pursue low-carbon solutions while leveraging its leadership position and expertise in the specialty coke market and supporting NOVONIX's emerging position in US based anode production.
Phillips 66 had the right to nominate a member to the Board of NOVONIX and, in October 2021, Zhanna Golodryga was appointed to the Board. Ms Golodryga is Senior Vice President and Chief Digital and Administrative Officer of Phillips 66.
It was particularly encouraging that Phillips 66 became a cornerstone investor. This is strategically significant and has provided NOVONIX with the capital it needs to support growth and the ongoing R&D program. We see the support of Phillips 66 as a great vote of confidence in our Company.
In June 2021, we announced a conditional contract to purchase a 400,000 sq ft (37,161 sq m) manufacturing facility, NOVONIX Riverside, that closed in July 2021 and will accommodate our expansion to 10,000 tonnes per year of anode production by 2023. The first of our Generation-3 furnaces is now being installed at the site.
Last week, we had the honour of the US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, attending a ceremonial event at our new Riverside location to celebrate the planned investment by NOVONIX and the milestone that this facility will represent in bringing large scale production of synthetic graphite for the battery supply chain to the United States.
The Company continues to advance conversations, sample testing and qualification programs with Samsung SDI, Sanyo-Panasonic and other major cell manufacturers and automotive OEMs under confidentiality arrangements as these companies aim to secure their supply chains for the expansive growth in US battery demand to take place in the coming years.
While progressing the scale-up of our Anode Materials division, the Company has been furthering the development of its single crystal cathode technology through our Battery Technology Solutions Division, BTS. This technology is based on its proprietary dry particle micro granulation technology for which patent protection is pending. A new R&D facility in Halifax was acquired and has been designed to move from lab to pilot scale synthesis to demonstrate the technology and material performance at full scale.
The Company's research and development (R&D) activities were boosted by the appointment of Professor Jeff Dahn as our Chief Scientific Advisor. Professor Dahn has been at the forefront of Lithium Ion battery development and is regarded as a preeminent technology adviser to the sector in North America and his location in Halifax Nova Scotia enables a close relationship with our senior executives and R&D team located in Halifax.
Our investment in R&D was furthered by the extension of our sponsorship with Professor Mark Obrovac's lab at Dalhousie University. This sponsorship aims to build upon the multiple patent application filings that have already come from the research in Professor Obrovac's group and was the source of the original dry particle microgranulation and single crystal cathode patent applications.
In February 2021, we announced our partnership with Emera Technologies, a subsidiary of Emera Inc., to advance the development and manufacturing of energy storage systems for community microgrids.
This partnership is a testament to new opportunities across the battery value chain that come through our BTS division and help keep NOVONIX at the forefront of technology in the Lithium-ion battery sector.
At the corporate level, we had a successful capital raising in February 2021. An institutional placement raised $115 million whilst a further $16.45 million was raised from a conditional placement to directors.
The director placements were conditional on shareholder approval that was subsequently obtained at an Extraordinary General meeting of shareholders held in April 2021. The director participation was seen as a strong show of support for, and confidence in, the Company and strong signal to institutions participating in the institutional placement.
Also at the corporate level, the Company submitted a draft registration statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with a potential listing on NASDAQ. That process is still in train.
The complexion of the company is changing with its focus as a North American-based battery materials and battery technology company. Our operations are now almost entirely in North America, our senior executives are all based in North America, our largest shareholder is now an iconic US-headquartered company - a household brand name founded in Texas in 1927. We also have a significantly broader US shareholder base as a consequence of our OTC markets listing and this will be augmented soon by a potential listing on NASDAQ.
In this context, the Board has determined that its make-up should similarly reflect this evolution in the character and development of the Company.
Consistent with this approach to succession planning and renewal at Board level, I am pleased to announce that our U.S. based Executive Director, Admiral Robert Natter, will assume the position of Non-Executive Chairman of the Company, effective from the conclusion of today's meeting. Bob is a highly experienced executive and company director and, on behalf of the rest of the Board, I thank him for taking on this important role.
I will remain on the Board as Deputy Chairman.
The only other change at Board level is that long-standing founding director, Australian-based Greg Baynton is retiring from the Board effective at the conclusion of today's meeting. Greg was the founder of the company in 2012 and has made an invaluable contribution to the growth and development of the company from its humble beginnings as an aspiring natural graphite miner and processor based in North Queensland. He has been a driving force in the strategic positioning of the Company and has been integrally involved in just about every key strategic decision taken by the Company and in the development of key customer relationships.
On behalf of shareholders, management and the rest of the Board, I thank Greg for his service and wish him well with his future endeavours.
I would emphasise in the strongest possible terms that, whilst we focus our energy and attention on the current opportunity in the North American market, we value our Australian heritage and the support of our Australian shareholders and will continue to aim to build a globally significant player in the battery energy storage sector.
In closing, I would like to thank the rest of the board and our staff for their superb efforts over the past year and for their continuing efforts.
Finally, I would like to thank our shareholders for their faith in, and ongoing support for, our Company.
I will now hand over to Chris Burns for his presentation.
Chairman, Tony Bellas.
To view the CEO Presentation to the AGM, please visit:
About NOVONIX Limited
NOVONIX Limited (ASX:NVX) (FRA:GC3) (OTCMKTS:NVNXF) is an integrated developer and supplier of high-performance materials, equipment and services for the global lithium-ion battery industry with operations in the USA and Canada and sales in more than 14 countries. NOVONIX's mission is to support the global deployment of lithium-ion battery technologies for a cleaner energy future.