SEDC Energy, Gallois join forces for USD1.5 bln graphite manufacturing plant in Bintulu’s Samalaju Industrial Park

Abang Johari (standing third left) flanked by Awang Tengah on his left witnessing the MOU signing between SEDC Energy and Gallois in a ceremony at a hotel in Kuching on Feb 2, 2024. Photo credit: Ukas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 2: SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd and Gallois New Energy Materials (M) Sdn Bhd have solidified their commitment with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate the development of a cutting-edge graphite manufacturing plant to produce high-end spherical natural graphite and synthetic graphite in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu, with an investment valued at USD1.5 billion (about RM6.3 billion).

The collaboration between SEDC Energy and Gallois New Energy is strategically aimed at exploring opportunities within the electric vehicle (EV) industry. The partners foresee an expansion of capabilities and sustainable growth for Sarawak, emphasising the region’s potential in the global market.

Outlined in the MoU is a comprehensive plan to position Bintulu as a leading global source of carbon-neutral graphite outside of China to meet the increasing demand for sustainable and cost-effective graphite supply, particularly in the rapidly expanding EV battery markets.

This strategy emphasises the production of high-end graphite products, with a planned three-stage development set to commence in 2025, contingent upon the availability of 100 megawatts (MW) of power.

Leveraging Sarawak’s infrastructure advantages, including low-cost and renewable hydropower, the initiative is poised to transform Bintulu’s economic landscape, generate over 1,000 high-skilled job opportunities for the local community, attract investments in the EV sector, and position Sarawak as a hub for EV transformation.

Speaking at the MOU exchange ceremony at a hotel here today, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg assured this venture that Sarawak is aggressively increasing its power production through renewable sources, which augurs well for their planned development that would position Sarawak as a key player in the graphite industry.

“Gallois, renowned for its mining and refining operations in Madagascar, stands as a powerhouse in graphite production. Their specialties in producing high-quality graphite, characterised by a perfect crystalline structure, make them the ideal partner for Sarawak’s growing hydrogen sector.

“This MOU is not a mere formality but a testament to our collective dedication to advancing chemical technology components, particularly for hydrogen production, and a sustainable future. It aligns with the policy of the Sarawak government in efforts to transform Sarawak into a hydrogen production hub,” he said.

Highlighting that Sarawak’s public transportation will be powered by hydrogen utilising fuel cell technology, which necessitates graphite, Abang Johari underscored the appropriateness of establishing a graphite manufacturing plant in Bintulu.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd chief executive officer (CEO) Robert Hardin, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation chairman Tan Sri Dr Abdul Aziz Husain and Gallois Group of Companies president George Lu were among those present. — DayakDaily