By Battery Power Online Staff
June 16, 2021 | Unifrax, a Buffalo, New York-headquartered global manufacturer of high-performance specialty materials, announced plans today to build its first large-scale SiFAB (silicon fiber anode material) manufacturing line at its north central Indiana facility that could add up to 74 new jobs by the end of 2023.
SiFAB is a proprietary silicon anode battery technology which enables significantly greater energy density in lithium-ion battery systems than prevailing technologies. SiFAB is currently in advanced testing and has shown promising performance in multiple battery systems. The anode technology has successfully been tested with incremental Si loadings of greater than 40%. Along with greater energy density, SiFAB is expected to provide faster charges and longer battery life for applications including electric vehicles, portable electronics, power tools, energy grid storage and aerospace.
Unifrax is uniquely positioned to meet customer demand and develop SiFAB at scale, due to its existing manufacturing plant and infrastructure in New Carlisle. The Indiana plant will be the first to begin building SiFAB long-term manufacturing capacity. The new line is slated to create up to 20 new jobs by the end 2022, with additional growth anticipated by the end of 2023.
“SiFAB is the latest development using fiber-based technology to create step change value for customers. This transformational material represents another addition to our robust electric vehicle and battery solutions portfolio,” said John Dandolph, president and CEO, Unifrax, in a press release. “The ability to leverage our existing facility and add new infrastructure to support SiFAB manufacturing in New Carlisle will significantly accelerate the timeline for supplying this critical material to our partners.”
“We designed SiFAB from its inception to be manufactured at large scale so that we could supply all market segments (EV’s, consumer electronics, power tools, and renewable storage), utilize our existing global manufacturing footprint, and deliver a product that has a high degree of quality and consistency,” added Chad Cannan, senior vice president of research and development, Unifrax, in the same press release.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Unifrax up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. St. Joseph County has also confirmed $775K in county tax incentives.
St. Joseph County Commissioner Andrew Kostielney also added, “The recent announcement by Unifrax is exciting news, not just for St. Joseph County, but for the entire region. Unifrax has long been an important manufacturing leader in the area, and this expansion indicates their commitment to our county for decades to come. Their new SiFAB line will not just create new jobs, it will also showcase the importance of green, sustainable technology.”