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Panasonic to invest in NMG to boost EV battery supply chain in North America

Image for representation purposes only. Source: Panasonic Energy
Panasonic Energy has signed a seven-year offtake agreement for the supply of natural graphite with Canada-based Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (NMG), a renowned manufacturer of anode active material.

In addition, the battery company has also expressed its intent to invest in NMG, starting with an initial investment of $25 million. An additional funding of about $50 million with co-investors is also on the anvil from Panasonic's side, subject to a maximum ownership threshold agreed between the relevant parties.

The partnership is seen as a key development in Panasonic Energy's expansion of its EV battery production in North America, including by increasing its use of locally sourced materials for a more sustainable supply chain, aiming to meet the growing global demand for EVs. 

The company had previously signed a MoU with NMG regarding the offtake agreement back in October 2022. The company subsequently advanced technological development and process optimization in line with its specifications and quality standards for the development of integrated graphite production in North America, it claims. 
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With its its battery material plant located in Bécancour, Quebec, NMG claims to operate under "mine-to-battery-material" model, and will produce natural graphite from its Matawinie mine in Quebec to produce anode active materials.
The vertically integrated model positions NMG as an ideal partner to support Panasonic Energy's plan to build a robust supply chain in North America, according to the battery materials supplier.
NMG's carbon-neutral graphite material will not only strengthen Panasonic Energy's supply chain in North America, but also support the company's goal of reducing its carbon footprint to 50 percent of its 2022 level by 2031, it adds.
It is to be noted that the governments of Japan and Canada had previously agreed on a MoC on battery supply chains back in September 2023 by way of deepened bilateral partnerships. This is expected to help Panasonic's outreach in the North American market that is recognized as the second-largest in terms of vehicle sales. 

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Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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