Mr. Liam Farrell reports
UPDATE ON COMMERCIAL GRAPHENE FACILITY
Nanoxplore Inc. has provided an operational update on its new commercial graphene facility in Montreal (Ville St-Laurent), province of Quebec, including:
Project construction update;
Capital expenditures (capex) update;
Operating expenditures (opex) update;
Graphene commercial update.
Project construction update
Nanoxplore's new graphene production facility (located at 4500 Thimens Blvd., Montreal (Ville St-Laurent), Que.) is currently housed within an existing 70,000-square-foot building. All major equipment has been delivered and secured in its physical location within the facility. Mechanical and electrical connections of the equipment are continuing and are expected to be completed by early February. Hydro-Quebec has provided all power requirements for the commercial production of the company's 4,000-metric-tonne-year capability graphene production facility. The new graphene facility will be a fully automated production plant that will enable a connected and flexible manufacturing system.
The facility will also become Nanoxplore's new corporate headquarters on Jan. 20, 2020. Extensive renovations have been made to house all existing and future corporate and carbon technology employees. In parallel with additions to the company's production team, key corporate positions have also been filled to help facilitate growth, including but not limited to the placement of a global IT (information technology) director and a global HR (human relations) director.
Rocco Marinaccio, chief operating officer of Nanoxplore, commented:
"It has been an extremely busy six-month period for the operations team, but I'm delighted to report that all major equipment for our 4,000 metric tonnes/year commercial graphene initiative has been delivered and we remain on time and below budget for the project. Focus will now shift to the integration of the equipment with scheduled commissioning to start during February of this year. This is a significant milestone for the corporation, and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of our employees for their hard work and commitment and to our contractual partners for their dedicated assistance."
Nanoxplore is pleased to confirm that the capex associated with the building out of the graphene production facility remains below the original scheduled budget. This includes, but is not limited to, all costs associated with the purchase and delivery of equipment, building modifications, auxiliary equipment, spare parts, and automation. Commissioning of the plant will begin in early February, 2020, with the ramp-up period of production to start from April this year.
The corporation previously announced that the new graphene facility layout has been fully optimized. This optimization will allow Nanoxplore to build its 4,000 metric tonnes/year of graphene production line in a much smaller footprint than originally designed. This will enable the corporation to use the remaining space for other purposes, such as warehousing, compounding and mixing, and the addition of another graphene production line. In conjunction with the installation of the equipment, the company expects to receive its first delivery of small-mesh natural flake graphite at the end of January, 2020, for the commissioning of the plant.
The corporation has also been successful in solidifying the technical design of its 4,000-metric-tonne-per-year proprietary graphene batch-production process. This production module can now be easily replicated for any future expansion project. These decisions were taken in order to minimize the cost involved in the engineering of any future production lines and to avoid any potential risk from further scale-up activities. This standardization of the production line will result in a quicker turnaround in future graphene line additions and will enable Nanoxplore to address market demands quickly.
Graphene commercial update
Nanoxplore's sales team continues to make significant strides as graphene becomes a viable solution for high-volume commercial applications. The corporation's focus is to replace current carbon-based additives within the thermoset and thermoplastic market by offering standardized products and solutions in powder and masterbatch formats. Focus of the corporation's efforts will now shift to obtaining purchase orders for its graphene products within the next six months. Nanoxplore continues to engage with large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and potential partners within various industries, such as industrial products, automotive, wires and cables, pipe, packaging, and sporting goods, to provide a more-enhanced solution to that of traditional additives.
Nanoxplore's ability to provide industrial volume of graphene at an affordable cost is the key that unlocks the development of the graphene market, resulting in a market shift from a technology push to a market pull. This shift is already under way and will help the successful commercialization efforts done by the corporation.
About Nanoxplore Inc.
Nanoxplore is a graphene company, a manufacturer and supplier of high-volume graphene powder for use in industrial markets. The company provides standard and custom graphene-enhanced plastic and composite products to various customers in transportation, packaging, electronics and other industrial sectors. Nanoxplore is headquartered in Montreal, Que., with manufacturing facilities across North America and Europe.
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