The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are welcoming an investment from Umicore Rechargeable Battery Materials Canada Inc. to build a new manufacturing plant in Loyalist Township. The facility will manufacture cathode active materials (CAM) and precursor cathode active materials (pCAM), critical components for producing electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The envisioned project, with a total eligible cost envelope of up to $2.761 billion, is planned to be executed in multiple stages. Today, Umicore is announcing its firm investment decision for the first stage of $2.1 billion, of which $1.8 billion is capital expenditures, for a battery materials production capacity of 35 GWh annually.

Based on the full scope of the envisioned project, the Government of Canada is supporting Umicore’s project through an investment of up to $551.3 million, while the Government of Ontario is supporting the investment with up to $424.6 million.

“Canada has everything it needs to be a global leader in the green economy: access to global markets, a talented workforce, clean energy, world-leading innovation ecosystems and all the critical mineral resources necessary to make EV batteries,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This is the reason why Umicore has chosen Canada and Loyalist Township as the place to build its new electric vehicle battery materials plant, one that will produce green battery components. This project will bring great economic benefits to Ontario and create well-paying jobs for Canadians, and it is strengthening Canada’s position as the green supplier of choice.”

The first of its kind in North America, Umicore’s facility will produce CAM and pCAM on a large industrial scale for EV and battery producers in Canada and the United States. In the project’s first stage, the company will create 600 new direct jobs, plus an additional 700 co-op positions for students will be created throughout the project, making Umicore one of the largest private employers in Eastern Ontario.

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The groundbreaking ceremony on October 16, 2023. Credit: Government of Ontario.

“Umicore’s investment represents another strong vote of confidence in our rapidly growing electric vehicle and battery supply chain,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Together, with our government, industry and labour partners, we’re putting our auto sector back on the map, attracting billions of dollars in new investments, creating thousands of new good-paying jobs and ensuring the cars of the future will be made in Ontario, from start to finish.”

The full project has the potential to produce enough battery materials to support the production of over 800,000 EVs per year, utilizing Canadian critical minerals, including nickel, lithium and cobalt, and strengthening Canada’s and Ontario’s domestic EV supply chain and batteries ecosystem.

“Umicore is proud of, and delighted with, the unwavering support and financial backing of Canada and Ontario,” said Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore. “Their readiness to co-fund our investment coupled with the announcement of our first customer contract for the Loyalist plant mean we can forge ahead with the construction. We are committed to being a reliable transformation partner for the automotive and battery industry and a trustworthy neighbour for communities in Ontario.”

Ontario’s auto supply chain currently comprises over 700 parts firms; over 500 tool, die, and mold makers; and over 400 connected and autonomous companies. The province is the only place in North America where five major automakers—Honda, Toyota, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis—build their vehicles.

Featured image credit: Getty Images

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