Tirupati Graphite plc – the specialist graphite and graphene company developing sustainable new age materials – has announced that Tirupati Speciality Graphite Private Limited (‘TSG’ ) – whom the Company has a binding acquisition agreement to acquire 100% of the equity shares subject to regulatory approvals – has signed an exclusive UK marketing and distribution agreement with Minralis Limited for TSG’s range of expandable graphite-based CarboflameX® and GrafEN 45545® products.
TSG is developing a suite of graphite-based products to be used in hi-tech applications like lithium-ion batteries, composites, foils, gaskets, thermal management and expandable graphite-based flame retardant products for which it has secured UK REACH registration for marketing in the UK.
The Company continues to work on creating global markets for these graphite-based products and has prioritised the growing UK demand for flame retardant technology in response to the UK Government’s 2021 commitment to invest £5 billion into building safety, including the replacement of unsafe cladding, following the enquiry into the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy.
TSG offers trademarked, expandable graphite-based flame retardant composite products for a suite of building materials, automobile and aerospace components including polyurethane and latex foams, intumescent tapes, panels, cable jointing compounds and many more which are known to be effective in curbing fire threats at the origin and in case of fire, retarding the spread. It is also known to be more effective in reducing melt dripping, smoke and toxic gas emissions ultimately reducing the threat to human life. Advantages of CarboflameX® include high compatibility, customised grades for different flame retardant standards, stabilised intercalation and non-hygroscopic properties. GrafEN 45545® is designed also to directly achieve the HL3 level safety standard in foams as per the EU’s EN 45545 fire safety standards.
TSG and Minralis have been working in collaboration on product tests with several buyers and have achieved approval from a number of Minralis’s key clients. This has resulted in a first order from Minralis for 66 tons of CarboflameX®, valued at c. US$ 200,000, to be delivered in three shipments the first of which has sailed, with the final shipment scheduled to sail mid-March.
Separate to the Minralis agreement, TSG has already received and fulfilled its first orders in the UK for its CarboflameX® products from established manufacturers of building materials and thermal management products which is resulting in repeat orders and it retains the right to sell to buyers it has already been engaged with as a carve out from the exclusivity agreement with Minralis.
Through the collaboration, Minralis and TSG expect to reach first year revenues of US$1 million from the sale of TSG’s graphite-based products before going on to achieve a leadership position in the growing expandable graphite markets in the UK.
Shishir Poddar, Executive Chairman of Tirupati Graphite, said: “The expandable Graphite markets in the UK are growing at a rapid pace with some buyers reporting that their orders have doubled year-on-year. This is an opportune time for us to establish ourselves in this niche product arena in our home markets, which may prompt us to consider creating downstream facilities for the suite of products in the UK, including for lithium-ion anode materials, and potentially graphene. We see this as a beginning that will provide us opportunities in the UK market to lay the foundations for realising the future potential of the fire safety and energy transition arena which are the core of our growth drivers.The Company’s graphite-based flame retardant products offers considerable advantages given the extensive remedial work required to meet the Government’s building and construction safety commitments. In Minralis, with their history and longstanding relationships of the principal directors with customers in the UK market for flame retardant and other expandable graphite markets, we have secured a great partner. We look forward to working with Minralis to accelerate our speciality graphite sales in the UK market.”
Nigel Lockwood, Director of Minralis, said: “I have been engaged in the flame retardant and other expandable graphite markets for decades, and as such we are fortunate indeed to enjoy excellent working relationships with the largest users of expandable graphite products in the UK. Since we began collaboration with Tirupati we have been hugely impressed and excited by the unrivalled technical excellence of not only the existing expandable graphite range, but also by the pipeline of ground breaking products that will ensure our combined ascendancy to a leading position in the passive fire protection sector in the UK.”