Wednesday, April 24, 2024

More battery manufacturing likely in Moses Lake

Staff Writer | May 5, 2022 1:00 AM

WOODINVILLE — Group14 Technologies, which makes components for rechargeable batteries, announced Wednesday it has raised $400 million to help build a major production facility in Moses Lake.

“We’re now ready to go large-scale in Moses Lake,” said company co-founder and CEO Rick Luebbe. “That’s based on the commercial facility that we stood up and got running here last year.”

Luebbe said the company is looking at several sites in Moses Lake and expects to make a formal announcement where it will build sometime in the next two months.

“We’ve got a couple of spots we’ve identified. I can’t disclose where those are yet,” he said. “I’m pretty confident we’ll have things nailed down here in the next 30 to 60 days.”

Group14 has broken ground on a factory to make silicon anodes in South Korea and has ordered production equipment for the facility, part of its partnership with SK Materials, which produces specialty gasses — such as the silicon gas silane — for the electronics industry.

Luebbe said the company intends to break ground in Moses Lake in mid-2022 and have the facility up and running by 2023. He described demand for the next generation of rechargeable batteries as “insatiable.”

“It’s just trying to figure out how to scale fast enough to catch and keep up with what the industry is going to need” in the transition to silicon batteries, Luebbe said.

Luebbe said the company envisions obtaining silane — silicon gas — for its anodes from REC Silicon in Moses Lake, but said Group14 still needs to know what REC envisions for its future.

“We’ll need a lot of silane,” he said.

The latest round of funding was led by German automaker Porsche, Luebbe said, which is proving to be an invaluable partner for the company’s efforts.

“What this does for us is gives us enough capital to put steel in the ground in Moses Lake,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at