Versarien plc (LON: VRS), the advanced materials engineering group, today provided an update on the Company’s activities in the People’s Republic of China and specifically in Shandong Province.
Jinan Manufacturing LOI
As announced by the Company on 15 January 2018, Versarien entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent 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.
Detailed discussions with the various parties in Jinan are progressing and detailed consideration is being given as to how a Jinan facility would fit with the Company’s overall China strategy. As previously reported, the Company has also established a wholly owned Hong Kong company which will be used as the platform for joint ventures in other Asian countries.
Framework Agreement with Qingdao MBC
Versarien is pleased to announce that on 4 November 2018 it signed a Framework Agreement with the Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Commerce in Shandong Province, China, covering cooperation between the parties in the fields of graphene research, development and industrialisation, including the potential establishment of a graphene focussed operation in Qingdao for Versarien.
Qingdao, is a major city in Shandong Province, China, with a population of over nine million people. It is one of the major areas of graphite production in China and is developing as a Chinese centre of excellence for graphene, with an already established graphene industry innovation demonstration base.
The Framework Agreement with Qingdao MBC, which is not legally binding, covers the intended areas of cooperation between Versarien and the Qingdao MBC, which include:
· The parties intend to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of graphene development, research and industrialisation;
· Versarien will use Qingdao as one of the Company’s principle places of business in China to develop the Company’s Chinese market;
· Qingdao MBC will assist Versarien with establishing partnerships and business relationships with Chinese enterprises, including providing assistance in identifying any appropriate strategic investors; and
· Qingdao MBC will assist Versarien with the establishment of a China-based operating company in the form of a “Sino-foreign cooperative enterprise” or “Sino-foreign joint venture”, which may include Qingdao MBC making capital contributions to the Venture.
Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: “We are making significant progress in developing our relationships in China, both with government bodies and industry. Our discussions in Jinan regarding establishing the “China-UK Jinan Graphene Industrial Park” continue to make good progress and I am pleased that we have signed another agreement in Shandong Province to progress our Chinese plans.
“As I stated in our annual results published in July 2018, the announcement of the LOI in Jian led to significant interest from other parties in China and resulted in possible links with another 23 cities or companies in China, a number which has since grown. We are conscious that we need to establish formal relationships with the most appropriate parties and in doing so we should seek to protect, as far as possible, the Company’s IP as well as conclude the best deal for Versarien and its shareholders.
“I am delighted by the support we are receiving from the Chinese Government at all levels, together with the UK Department for International Trade and I look forward to making further announcements as our relationships in China progress and we enter into further agreements.”