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Homegrown battery technology company opens plant in New Orleans East

CityBusiness Staff Reports
February 1, 2024

ADVANO, which has developed a proprietary silicon technology for lithium-ion batteries, celebrated the opening of its new materials pilot plant at the New Orleans Regional Business Park in New Orleans East, across the street from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Center.
On January 30, representatives from GNO Inc., City of New Orleans, and New Orleans Business Alliance attended a ribbon-cutting opening of the facility, which will increase the ability for ADVANO to deliver ton-scale volumes of its proprietary technology, REALSi, and enable the New Orleans-based company to enter electric vehicle qualification programs.
The New Orleans Regional Business Park has 7,000 acres, access to Highway 90, I-510, and I-10, and is near six Class One Railroads and the New Orleans International Airport.

“With this new location, our local, homegrown battery manufacturing company is better positioned to solve some of our national supply chain issues, bringing economic development to an underserved area, and innovating our way of thinking through ongoing energy challenges,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Louisiana is an energy state, and New Orleans-based companies, like ADVANO, are paving the way for us to lead the energy transition.”

Founded in 2016 and spun out of Tulane UniversityADVANO is a Y-Combinator (seed funding program) graduate and is backed by global investors Build Collective, Mojo Partners, DCVC, PeopleFund, and Mitsui Kinzoku. In 2020, ADVANO emerged from stealth and closed an $18.5-million Series A funding round.

REALSi are drop-in technologies that provide cost-effective, high-performing solutions for lithium-ion batteries across various sectors, including electric vehicles, consumer electronics, and defense products. Essentially, the process involves replacing graphite in the core of a battery with a silicon carbon composite, a renewable energy process enabling the battery to hold a longer charge and therefore performing efficiently.

“The integration of our critical materials enhances EV consumers’ ability to qualify for substantial tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Chris York, CEO of ADVANO. “This enables a clear path for cost-effective transitioning to EVs and assisting consumer choice to address climate change.”
ADVANO plans to deliver 3,000 tons of REALSi by 2026, with a scaling plan targeting 20,000 tons by 2030. The Specialty Pilot Plant features commercial-grade equipment necessary to accelerate the company’s production of silicon anode materials. The plant’s operations, now located within an Opportunity and Enterprise Zone, will initiate the next phase of growth for ADVANO to hire an additional 25 employees. ADVANO currently has 15 employees.
“This project is a great example of developing a clean energy solution while also creating jobs and investment in our communities. We see this project as a testament to the strength of the business infrastructure and assets in the region and state that can support companies like ADVANO from the lab to reality,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO Inc.
In fall 2023, GNO Inc. worked with The Beach, a research and technology park at the University of New Orleans, to host “Power of Nature” – a renewable energy career day in which ADVANO engaged with over 300 high school seniors from the city to talk about career pathways in battery engineering, materials science, and entrepreneurship.
“ADVANO is exactly the type of next-generation advanced manufacturing company we want to see continuing to invest in our city,” said Louis David, president/CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “We are proud to have worked with the company for years on site selection, talent connections, and community involvement. ADVANO’s new pilot facility continues a long tradition of cutting-edge transportation technology being developed in New Orleans, from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility right across the street to ADVANO’s electric vehicle battery innovations.”

Source: https://neworleanscitybusiness.com/blog/2024/02/01/homegrown-battery-technology-company-opens-plant-in-new-orleans-east/


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