TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2024 /CNW/ – Black Swan Graphene Inc. ("Black Swan") (or the "Company") (TSXV: SWAN) (OTCQB: BSWGF) (Frankfurt: R96) is pleased to announce that its partner, Nationwide Engineering Research and Development or "NERD", the maker of Concretene, a graphene-enhanced concrete admixture ("Concretene"), has executed a development agreement with Roger Bullivant Limited ("Roger Bullivant"). Roger Bullivant is part of Soletanche Bachy, a foundations company and part of VINCI, the French construction, infrastructure and energy group of companies with €60 billion in annual revenue. The agreement aims to begin commercial deliveries in Q4 of 2024.

Support for the project from Roger Bullivant includes a proposal for establishment of a Concretene pilot manufacturing plant at its headquarters in the United Kingdom. This pilot manufacturing plant should enable NERD to prove the viability of its manufacturing proposition towards much wider scale-up and roll-out to the United Kingdom and international concrete industry.

Black Swan estimates that the initial pilot production level would already necessitate approximately half of its graphene production capacity from its facility in Consett, United Kingdom, and would rapidly grow to much higher levels if the commercial roll-out evolves successfully.

David Clement, Roger Bullivant Managing Director, commented: "Our precast foundation systems, manufactured using low-carbon concrete are an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional methods. As part of Soletanche Bachy and VINCI, we have an ambitious target to reduce our concrete and cement-related CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. This exciting R&D initiative in partnership with Concretene is the next step in our carbon reduction journey and is a critical element of our sustainability strategy."

Mike Harrison, Chief Operating Officer of NERD, commented: "This is another significant step on our journey to commercialisation of our product and we are delighted to be working with the team at Roger Bullivant."

Simon Marcotte, President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Swan, commented: "Due to the size of this promising market, utilizing graphene in concrete has long been regarded as the holy grail of graphene applications. However, very few have been successful at mastering this intricate process. We are extremely excited to have NERD as a partner which has, time and time again, demonstrated the functionality, effectiveness and desirability of its concrete admixture."

Funding for the pre-cast project, worth £1.21m and starting immediately, is provided by Innovate UK under its SMART grant, which supports SMEs and industrial partners in developing disruptive innovations with potential for rapid economic return to the United Kingdom.

In March 2023, Black Swan, NERD and ARUP Group announced strategic partnerships, part of an integrated supply chain, to accelerate the adoption of graphene-enhanced concrete globally. Black Swan and NERD also formalized an equity swap and a supply agreement. See press release dated March 27, 2023.

Concretene Admixture

The construction industry faces an urgent problem regarding its carbon footprint, with concrete accounting for more than 7% of all global CO2 emissions, principally from energy cost in the manufacture of cement. Legislation to decarbonise the industry is already driving decision-making on planning and budgets and with existing cement replacement technologies becoming increasingly unsustainable, a new solution is required to reduce embodied carbon in the built environment.

Developed by NERD in partnership with The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre ("GEIC"), Concretene is a graphene-enhanced admixture for concrete, engineered to improve performance and sustainability.

The technology improves the microstructure of concrete, significantly increasing compressive, tensile and flexural strength, reducing curing periods, microcracking and permeability. Our aim is for a 30% improvement in concrete performance, dependent on application, and proportionally decreased embodied carbon on construction projects.

About Roger Bullivant Limited

Roger Bullivant Limited is a Foundation Engineering Company specialising in the design and construction of foundations for all types of buildings and structures in all kinds of ground conditions. Foundation designs are individually engineered to satisfy project and customer needs and always with an eye on value engineering. Roger Bullivant operates from a Head Office centrally located in South Derbyshire and from seven regional offices across the UK. Alongside central office headquarters, the company’s manufacturing facility produces over one million metres of precast concrete piles every year, together with 180,000 linear metres of precast beam. Roger Bullivant is part of Soletanche Bachy, a foundations company and part of VINCI, the French construction, infrastructure and energy group of companies with €60 billion in annual revenue.

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About Nationwide Engineering Research and Development Ltd.

Nationwide Engineering Research & Development (NERD) is a standalone R&D firm spun out from UK construction group Nationwide Engineering in 2022 to bring Concretene – a graphene-enhanced admixture that improves concrete performance and sustainability – to market. Initially seed-funded by LocalGlobe, EMEA’s leading investor in unicorns, NERD announced equity deals in March 2023 with Arup, the global design and engineering consultancy, and Black Swan Graphene Inc. Subsequently, the company secured UK government grants worth approximately CA$4 million for development of its Concretene admixture in precast and ready-mix concrete applications. NERD is a Tier 1 partner of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at The University of Manchester, with chemistry and materials testing laboratories in the £60m state-of-the-art facility. Here our team of scientists and engineers is working with the University and with industry partners to optimize the Concretene formulation and scale production towards commercial roll-out from Q4 2024.

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About Black Swan Graphene Inc.

Black Swan is focused on the large-scale production and commercialization of patented high-performance and low-cost graphene products aimed at several industrial sectors, including concrete, polymers, Li-ion batteries, and others, which are expected to require large volumes of graphene. Black Swan aims to leverage the low cost and green hydroelectricity of the province of Québec as well as the proximity of the province’s emerging graphite industry in order to establish an integrated supply chain, reduce overall costs, and accelerate the deployment of graphene usage. On March 27, 2023, Black Swan, Nationwide Engineering Research and Development Ltd. ("NERD") and Arup Group Limited ("Arup") announced strategic partnerships, establishing a fully integrated supply chain and providing a turnkey solution for the construction and concrete industries. Arup is a multinational engineering consultancy headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with 18,000 experts working across 140 countries. Black Swan’s graphene processing technology was developed by Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd ("Thomas Swan") over the last decade. Thomas Swan is a United Kingdom-based global chemicals manufacturer, with a century-long track record and has been at the forefront of graphene innovation.

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Black Swan Graphene Inc. on behalf of the Board of Directors
Simon Marcotte, CFA, President & Chief Executive Officer

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Forward-Looking Information

The information contained herein contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements relate to information that is based on assumptions of management, forecasts of future results, and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. Any statements that express predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to the TSXV listing, risk related to the failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms; risks related to the outcome of legal proceedings; political and regulatory risks associated with the industry; risks related to the maintenance of stock exchange listings; risks related to environmental regulation and liability; the potential for delays in development activities or the completion of feasibility studies; the uncertainty of profitability; risks related to the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses; results of feasibility studies, and the possibility that future results will not be consistent with the Company’s expectations; risks related to commodity prices fluctuations; and other risks and uncertainties related to the Company’s prospects, properties and business detailed elsewhere in the Company’s disclosure record. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements. Furthermore, performance results of graphene products as additives can vary widely depending on type and the specificity of the target material, the specifics of the graphene product itself, including but not limited to, carbon purity, particle size, surface agent, dispersion behavior, and application and usage methods. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements and initial test results. These forward-looking statements and test results are made as of the date hereof and the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company’s expectations or projections.

SOURCE Black Swan Graphene Inc