Anovion Technologies announces new manufacturing plant in Bainbridge

Published 12:09 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

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A large crowd gathered in the Kirbo Center Auditorium early Monday morning for a significant announcement for the Bainbridge community: Anovion Technologies, a manufacturer of synthetic graphite used in lithium-ion batteries, will be building a new manufacturing plant in Bainbridge.

Keith Lyle, chairman of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Development Authority, took to the stage first to speak. “I’m thrilled to share with you today, that this project represents a significant investment in the future of our community,” Lyle said. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the people who live and work here, and the potential that we all see for our town to thrive in the years to come.”

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Anovion’s new facility in Bainbridge will create 400 new jobs when completed, and represents an $800 million investment in Decatur County.

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Following Lyle, city councilman Kregg Close delivered the invocation. After this Commissioner Pat Wilson, of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, took to the podium. Wilson described the Anovion facility as “a transformational project for a region”. Wilson emphasized the importance of the Anovion facility in terms of domestic versus foreign production, as many battery components for electric vehicles are currently manufactured in China. “If you look at the electric vehicle itself, the battery, 77% come from China,” he said. “There’s an entire supply chain that doesn’t exist in the US right now, and not only does it not exist in the US, we’re relying on China to supply it. So this is not only something that touches our jobs and our day-to-day lives, this is national defense, this is our future, and you guys, Bainbridge, are gonna be a part of that.”

Following Wilson, Anovion CEO Eric Stopka addressed the audience. He made a point about Anovion’s focus on “climate tech”. “What that means is that we are passionately always exploring ways to improve our product and our processes, so that we can eventually achieve the real goal of electrification, which is reducing greenhouse gasses,” Stopka said. According to Stopka, the facility will not just be the first large-scale factory of its kind in Georgia, but North America.

“When fully operational, the currently planned facility will be capable of producing 40,000 metric tons per year, of synthetic graphite,” he said. “This is really enough, at today’s chemistries, to power about one million vehicles per year.”

While at the podium, Stopka recounted one of his visits to Bainbridge during the scouting process, during which time he visited the Bean Cafe, where he met Trent Lawrence, son of owners Lee and Tiffany Lawrence. Impressed with Trent and his siblings’ working at the Bean, he presented Trent with both a new skateboard, as well as a $2,500 savings bond.

With an expected ground-breaking next month, the 1.5 million-square-foot facility is expected to be open for operations in 2025.