Specialist graphite producer Tirupati Graphite has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan-based global trading company Hanwa, to expand markets for its suite of flake and speciality graphite products in the Far East.
The MoU is expected to lead to deeper engagement with industrial end-users and enhance the development of markets for the company's graphite products in the territory, including flake graphite produced at its mines in Madagascar and specialty graphite from its upcoming downstream specialty graphite project in India.
Following ongoing engagement, the company and Hanwa have identified various prospective buyers in the territory, and say there is “proven appetite” as a strategic joint venture partner and investor in battery metals projects.
Initial discussions with prospective buyers have resulted in extensive interest in the company's products owing to its green processes and suitability with applications of end-users, Tirupati states.
CEO Shishir Poddar says that given that the East Asian markets are primarily driven by international trading houses, the company is “delighted to have signed an MoU with Hanwa, which will significantly progress marketing efforts in this important region”.
Poddar adds that the Far East hosts extensive industrial and speciality graphite markets, which currently import almost all graphite from China.
However, lithium-ion battery and anode manufacturers are increasingly looking at the green credentials of their supply chains, as well as diversification away from Chinese sources, which is where Tirupati sees potential to step in.
The company, therefore, “looks forward to working with Hanwa's dedicated team”, which has strong relationships with some of the largest graphite users and to penetrate and lay the foundations for the development of markets for our suite of graphite products in the Far East.
"The shift to a global green economy continues to accelerate with the electric vehicle revolution going up a gear, which is having a significant impact on demand for battery raw materials; this is something we have seen happening over the past few months,” Poddar comments, noting that as the company’s production and manufacturing operations expand, “the company is well positioned to support the increasing demand”.