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Versarien PLC Planned Chinese graphene manufacturing facility

15/01/2018 7:00am

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)


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RNS Number : 8078B

Versarien PLC

15 January 2018

Versarien plc

("Versarien" or the "Company")

Planned Chinese graphene manufacturing facility

Versarien plc (AIM: VRS), the advanced materials engineering group, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Letter of Intent ("LOI") to establish a graphene manufacturing centre in China.

The non-binding LOI has been entered into by Versarien together with the Shandong Institute of Industrial Technology Fund, Jinan Qing Na Material Technology Co Ltd and Jinan Innovation Zone Administrative Committee with the view to establishing the "China-UK Jinan Graphene Industrial Park" in the Jinan Innovation Zone, Shandong Province, China. The Jinan Innovation Zone, established as a national hi-tech zone in 1991, currently has ten industrial parks with businesses including software, intelligent manufacturing and life sciences.

The LOI envisages as a first stage the establishment of a 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility to produce and sell Versarien's proprietary Nanene few layer graphene nano-platelets. Versarien will provide its intellectual property (IP) on a licensed basis together with production know how, whilst the other joint venture partners will provide the factory and funding for plant and equipment.

The second stage objective is the establishment of the first Chinese graphene industrial park, the "Jinan Graphene Valley" including a graphene research institute with funding coming from the joint venture partners. The total project cost is anticipated to be in the region of 500 million yuan (approximately GBP55 million).

It is the Company's intention to form a wholly owned Hong Kong company which will become one of the joint venture partners, whilst ensuring the strongest protection of its IP. Further announcements will be made as appropriate, including when final agreements are entered into.

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "We are delighted to have entered into this LOI and to be working with our Chinese partners to establish a world leading high quality graphene manufacturing facility using Versarien's proprietary IP and manufacturing knowhow.

"It is intended that this facility will form the centre of the "Jinan Graphene Valley" and pave the way to Versarien establishing a world class base in the Asian region. We have been afforded great support from the Chinese government and we are working with all parties to deliver this facility in record time and to capture the excitement and support for our Nanene product in China.

"It is important for us to have facilities close to manufacturing centres worldwide and we will continue to build on this base. We have negotiated significant Chinese government support to protect our IP and this agreement follows from the meeting with President Xi Jinping at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester in October 2015.

"This agreement demonstrates the world leading capabilities of Versarien in the production of graphene and other nano materials. With the significant global interest we are seeing in our graphene, this facility will go a significant way towards allowing us to meet anticipated demand and to be able to work closely with Chinese companies developing graphene enhanced products.

"This continues to be a very busy and exciting time for the Company and I look forward to providing further updates on our progress throughout 2018."

This announcement includes inside information as defined in Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation No. 596/2014 and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of those Regulations.

Enquiries:

Versarien 01242 269 122

Neill Ricketts, CEO

Chris Leigh, CFO

   WH Ireland (Nominated Advisor)                                                     0117 945 3470 

Mike Coe

Ed Allsopp

   IFC Advisory (Financial PR and IR)                                                 0203 934 6630 

Tim Metcalfe

Graham Herring

Heather Armstrong

About Jinan Innovation Zone

The Jinan Innovation Zone was established upon the approval by the Chinese State Council in March 1991 as one of the first national hi-tech zones. Currently, there are five large zones formed according to the "One area, two cities, two valleys" arrangement, with a total area of 318 square kilometers, covering five sub-district offices. Jinan Innovation Zone has ten industrial parks in the fields of software, intelligent manufacturing, life sciences and many other industry fields providing high quality and professional services.

About Jinan Qing Na Material Technology Co., Ltd

Jinan Qing Na Material Technology Co was founded in 2014; an enterprise incubated by the Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Its main products are carbon nano-tubes, graphene and other carbon compounded materials. It owns a number of leading technologies in China and overseas and has accumulated many industrial customers.

About Shandong Institute of Industrial Technology Fund

Shandong Institute of Industrial Technology Fund was founded in 2016 as a scientific research transformation fund and a supporting unit of the Shandong Industrial Technology Research Institute, launched by Jinan Equity Investment Fund of Funds and the Qilu Bank under the government industry lead. Its main responsibility is to invest in hi-tech industries in Jinan, China and abroad.

About Versarien

Versarien plc (AIM:VRS), is an advanced engineering materials group. Leveraging proprietary technology, the Group creates innovative engineering solutions for its clients in a diverse range of industries. Versarien has five subsidiaries operating under two divisions:

Graphene and Plastics

2-DTech Ltd, which specialises in the supply, characterisation and early stage development of graphene products. www.2-dtech.com

AAC Cyroma Ltd, which specialises in the supply of vacuum-formed and injection-moulded products to the automotive, construction, utilities and retail industry sectors. Using Versarien's existing graphene manufacturing capabilities, AAC will have the ability to produce graphene-enhanced plastic products. www.aaccyroma.co.uk

Cambridge Graphene Ltd, which supplies novel inks based on graphene and related materials, using patented processes and develops graphene materials technology for licensing to manufacturers. www.cambridgegraphene.com

Thermal and Hard Wear Products

Versarien Technologies Ltd. which has developed an additive process for creating advanced micro-porous metals targeting the thermal management industry and supplies extruded aluminium. www.versarien-technologies.co.uk

Total Carbide Ltd, a leading manufacturer in sintered tungsten carbide for applications in arduous environments such as the oil and gas industry. www.totalcarbide.com

This information is provided by RNS

The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END

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January 15, 2018 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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