Former Boeing CEO is "all in" on Bartlesville start up
STILLWATER −Former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told a group of supporters and potential investors at Oklahoma State University's Hamm Institute for American Energy that he is "all in" on Bartlesville start-up company, Westwin Elements.
The company is planning to build the only cobalt and nickel refinery in the United States and has raised over $30 million between seed money and series A funding.
"Over the last three years, I've looked at literally hundreds of leading-edge innovation companies in this space, and I've selected a very short list of those that I'm dedicating my own personal time and investment to and Westwin Elements is one of those companies," said Muilenburg. "I'm all in on this project."
Although headquartered in Bartlesville, Westwin plans to build its nickel and cobalt refinery in Lawton. The Lawton City Council voted to approve the plan to build the plant and financial incentives earlier this year.
The future refinery would supply raw materials needed to produce items like aerospace alloys and lithium-ion batteries, company representatives said.
"The fact is that this is national security and economic imperative, and this is a critical supply chain imperative for our country," said Muilenburg. "About 40% of the world's nickel and more than 65% of the refined cobalt comes from China — zero of that is coming from the U.S."
KaLeigh Long, CEO of Westwin Elements, looks to raise an additional $4 million to start building a demonstration plant to prove to customers they can meet U.S. demand.
Long says Westwin is already in talks with many aerospace companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing to supply companies with refined rare minerals and projects that would "eventually produce slightly near $2.6 billion in annual revenue and hundreds of jobs."
This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: Former Boeing CEO is "all in" on Bartlesville start up