Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., a Panasonic Group Company, announced the signing of an MOU regarding an offtake agreement with integrated graphite producer Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (“NMG”; Quebec, Canada) to establish a supply chain in North America for graphite, an anode active material used in lithium-ion batteries. The two parties will work alongside Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui”; Tokyo, Japan), NMG’s convertible bond underwriter to optimize a feasibility study for the development of an integrated graphite production business in North America carried out with the aim of concluding an offtake agreement by the end of March 2023.
The shift to electric vehicles (EV) is continuing on a global scale. Panasonic Energy is working to expand its production of EV batteries in the U.S. to meet increased demand and in the process will increase the percentage of materials procured locally and establish a sustainable supply chain. The strategic partnership between Panasonic Energy, NMG, and Mitsui aims to promote integrated "mine to-battery-materials" business development in North America and will see the refining of graphitemined at NMG’s Matawinie Mine (Quebec) and anode active materials produced at its battery materials plant in Bécancour, Quebec. Under the joint feasibility study, NMG will develop production facilities and material samples, and Panasonic Energy will evaluate them.
In Canada, where the use of clean energy is widespread, a high percentage of electricity is derived from renewable energy sources, and both the federal and provincial governments are promoting clean operations. Panasonic Energy shares a common understanding with the Canadian government on the importance of solving environmental issues, and we look forward to further expanding our partnership. Being able to utilize NMG's low environmental impact graphite is a major step toward our goal of halving our carbon footprint by FY2031. Sourcing materials for battery production in the U.S. from Canada will also shorten supply chain distances and significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the logistics process.