Novonix plant in Chattanooga to become first U.S. supplier of key battery material

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / The Novonix building is shown on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

Novonix expects to begin producing synthetic graphite by this spring in Chattanooga to become the first U.S. supplier of the key ingredient for the growing battery market.

Daniel Deas, chief operating officer of the Brisbane, Australia-based Novonix, said Monday he expects production to begin on that timeline at the former Alstom Power plant on Riverfront Parkway that the company acquired last year for its first phase of U.S. production.

Once the $160 million plant in the development now known as the Bend is in full operation next year, Deas said the company is eager to move ahead with an even bigger production facility that also could be built in Chattanooga and swell the company's local staff to 1,000 employees.

"We believe that Novonix is critical to advancing the North American electrification story and supply chain," Deas said during a kickoff luncheon for Chattanooga Engineers Week on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus.