Indian company that makes EV battery materials to build its first US plant in North Carolina

BOLIVIA, N.C. (AP) — An Indian company that produces a key ingredient for long-range batteries in electric vehicles said Thursday it would build its first U.S. plant in southeastern North Carolina, creating hundreds of jobs.

Executives at Epsilon Advanced Materials Inc. and Gov. Roy Cooper announced the planned $650 million facility in Brunswick County that starting in 2026 would make synthetic graphite anode material necessary for batteries that power EVs and other energy storage systems. When fully operational by 2031, the facility will generate 50,000 tons (45,359 metric tonnes) of the product annually.

“We’re proud to have North Carolina as the centerpiece of our U.S. manufacturing strategy,” EAM founder and Managing Director Vikram Handa said in a news release from Cooper's office. "Having an environmentally friendly world-class facility in North Carolina will allow EAM to provide synthetic and natural graphite anodes to the growing EV battery industry faster, more reliably and at a competitive cost.”

The company said the plant is anticipated to generate 500 new jobs, with an average annual salary of $52,264, which is above the current average salary in the county of $46,464. Cooper's administration has been focused on attracting clean-energy industries to North Carolina.

State and local governments have offered more than $33 million in economic incentives for EAM to build in forms such as land, infrastructure improvements, training and cash payments, according to a document presented to a state panel that signed off on some incentives.

A portion of the state incentives — about $3.4 million over 12 years — is contingent on EAM meeting job-creation and investment thresholds by the end of 2028, the document said.

The document said that EAM initially considered facility sites in six states, and the other finalist was Jackson, Tennessee.