Palm kernel-powered graphene producer Graphjet Tech eyes US listing

HOME-GROWN Graphjet Technology Sdn Bhd, an innovative research & development firm that specialises in the production of graphene and graphite, has inked a merger agreement with US-based blank cheque firm Energem Corp for an eventual listing on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

The targeted listing date of Graphjet is October this year with a pro forma enterprise value of US$1.49 bil upon listing.

The merger with Energem which is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) will provide around US$115 mil to Graphjet for its business expansion. The Graphjet-Energem signing ceremony yesterday (Aug 1) was witnessed by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

An innovative graphene and graphite producer, Graphjet has successfully developed a revolutionary patented technology that will transform palm kernel shell – a waste from palm kernel production – into high-demand graphene materials at a significantly lower cost than the current graphene production.

Graphjet has successfully developed a revolutionary patented technology that will transform palm kernel shell into high-demand graphene materials at a significantly lower cost than the current graphene production

The average selling price for graphene ranges from around US$300 to US$400/gram but Graphjet’s technology – which is first of its kind in the world – will lower the price to between US$20 and US$25/gram.

This will disrupt the advanced materials industry given the massive potential of graphene in the applications of various high-technology industries.

Technology partnerships

“Our success will put Malaysia on the world map as the first in the world to transform renewable raw materials such as palm kernel into graphene,” commented Graphjet’s chairman Lim Hooi Beng.

Graphene which is the thinnest and lightest known material has about 200 times the strength of steel and is also one of the best conductors of electricity and heat that is visually transparent.

According to Lim, the success of the development of the patented technology was done in collaboration with renowned research institutions to ensure the sustainability and assurance of the single-layer graphene produced.

This includes the Imperial College London (ranked seventh in the World University Ranking), the Kwansai Gakuin University (one of the four leading private universities in Japan’s greater Kansai region) and the Shibaura Institute of Technology (one of the top private universities in Japan’s Koto City).

Meanwhile, Graphjet’s local higher institutions’ research partners are the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) which pioneers and leads in the engineering technology programme.

At the same event, Graphjet will also mark its foray into the export market with an exclusive distributorship agreement with Toyoda Trike Inc, Japan’s developer and manufacturer of pure electric vehicle (EV) and electric bicycles.

Toyoda is related to the founders of Toyota Motor Corp, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, and whose largest shareholder is Asia Development Capital Co Ltd, a public-listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The exclusive distributorship agreement with Toyoda will generate significant earnings growth for both companies and is expected to contribute around US$30 mil of revenue annually for Graphjet.

Back to its merger agreement with Energem, Lim said this is timely as it puts Graphjet on an accelerated growth trajectory with a plan to set up the group’s manufacturing plant in Kuantan, Pahang.

“Given the ample source of raw materials (palm kernel) in Malaysia, this gives us a competitive advantage in terms of the logistics and sourcing of the raw materials for our production,” Lim noted, adding that the gross profit margin of the products can improve to around 60% with the setting up of the manufacturing plant.

“The applications of graphene in renewable energy segments and our production using renewable sources will put us as one of the leaders in the push towards net zero emissions in carbon globally,” Lim pointed out. – Aug 2, 2022

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