The facility will help  e-VAC Magnetics accelerate U.S. rare earth magnet manufacturing via a domestic supply chain.

SUMTER, S.C.—A Germany-based manufacturer of rare earth permanent magnets was recently awarded a $111.9 million Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Tax Credit (Section 48c) to advance the construction of its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Sumter. The company, e-VAC Magnetics, broke ground on the state-of-the-art facility in March and expects to complete the facility in late fall 2025, according to a release from e-VAC Magnetics.

The project is expected to create 300 new jobs in Sumter. The manufacturer is part of Vacuumschmelze (VAC Group), which produces rare earth neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets that are critical to automotive, defense, industrial, and renewable energy applications.

The facility was one of more than 100 projects to receive an award under the Section 48c program, designed to help accelerate domestic clean energy manufacturing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at industrial facilities, according to the release.

VAC Group Chief Executive Officer Erik Eschen, Ph.D., said in the release that e-VAC “is proud to invest in America’s 21st century supply chain and to advance clean energy manufacturing efforts.”

“This award demonstrates the importance of high-quality, high-performance magnetic materials, which are key enablers to electrification and energy efficiency across a range of industries. Our facility will help to establish a resilient, U.S.-based supply chain for decades to come,” Eschen said.

In January 2023, e-VAC announced a binding long-term supply agreement with General Motors to manufacture permanent magnets, using locally sourced raw materials, for the electric motors used in a broad portfolio of EVs in North America. In September 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense entered into an agreement with e-VAC as part of its “Mine-to-Magnet” supply chain initiative, ensuring U.S. companies are able to source and produce the rare earth permanent magnets that are essential components in the F-35, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and numerous other defense systems.

In October 2023, VAC was acquired by Ara Partners, a private equity and infrastructure firm that specializes in industrial decarbonization investments. Ara’s investment has provided VAC with the capital to expand and build a robust rare earths value chain, the company said.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is helping companies invest in America and build critical domestic supply chains,” said Tuan Tran, a partner at Ara Partners, in the release. “Suppliers like e-VAC will play an important role in decarbonizing the industrial world, and we are committed to helping these companies expand their footprints here in the U.S. while substantially reducing emissions.”

VAC Group is a global producer of advanced magnetic products, rare earth permanent magnets, and inductive components that are crucial for the decarbonization of the planet. The company

designs and manufactures mission critical products for industries that include renewable energy, e-mobility, automotive, industrial automation, medical, aerospace. and defense. According to the company, its ability to develop and manufacture from base elements through final products enables VAC Group to provide customers with “optimal form factors and performance, generating best-in-class efficient solutions in an environmentally conscious manner.”