Engineering materials firm Versarien (LSE:VRS) has secured a contract to supply graphene to a major European tyre producer. The deal was arranged by OQEMA, formerly Lansdowne Chemicals, with whom Versarien established a distribution agreement in February last year. Versarien will initially provide 500g of Nanene – its graphene nano-platelet powder – to the un-named tyre producer, which will look at the benefits of adding graphene to tyres supplied to the automotive sector. Versarien expects to receive further orders if benefits become clear. Shares were down 3.9pc, or 2.8p, to 69.7pp following the news.
Graphene is a type of carbon made up of sheets that are just atom thick and has been called the most durable metal ever tested. Due to graphene’s strength, it has been tested for use in a wide variety of products such as display screens, electric/photonics circuits, solar cells, as well as various medical, chemical and industrial processes. Graphene was viewed as something of a wonder-material in recent years, but interest has cooled somewhat of late.
Neill Ricketts, chief executive of Versarien, said: ‘We are delighted to have secured this initial contract to supply Nanene to a leading producer of tyres. We look forward to working with them to explore the benefits that graphene can bring to their products. Our relationship with OQEMA is expected to bring us further exciting opportunities, and we are very pleased to have the support of such a significant player in the global distribution arena.’
Robert Moss, group managing director of OQEMA UK, added: ‘Graphene’s numerous benefits have almost limitless potential. New and exciting applications are being discovered on a daily basis, which can only yield an exciting future for companies such as OQEMA and Versarien who are willing to put themselves at the forefront of technological advancement.’
Versarien’s (LSE:VRS) share price went supernova between November 2017 and January this year, gaining 500% at its high of 122p. Since then the price has cooled off and currently sits at 69.7p, falling 3.9pc, or 2.8p following today’s announcement, as at the time of writing. The market’s muted reaction today mirrors its response last month when Versarien announced a collaboration with a ‘world-leading Aerospace group’. Versarien and its partner have agreed to collaborate on research and development projects using Nanene.