Ontario Construction News staff writer
Umicore says it will invest $1.5 billion to build an industrial scale cathode and precursor materials manufacturing plant in eastern Ontario – the first in North America.
Umicore and the Government of Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the Strategic Innovation Fund. This MoU follows a recently signed agreement with Loyalist Township to secure a plot of land of about 350 acres in Loyalist.
Umicore is targeting to start construction in 2023 and operations at the end of 2025 with the potential to reach by the end of the decade an annual production capacity capable of powering approximately one million EVs. It is estimated that the project will create about 1,000 construction jobs.
Cathodes account for about 50 per cent of the value of an EV battery and contain key critical minerals such as nickel, cobalt, manganese, and lithium. This historic investment in eastern Ontario would further connect Northern Ontario’s mineral sector to EV manufacturing in the south. Each component of the battery supply chain plays an important and interconnected role in the production of EVs.
“Ontario has everything it needs, up and down our homegrown supply chain, to remain and strengthen its position as a North American auto manufacturing powerhouse. Umicore plans to bring this part of the EV supply chain to Ontario which will continue to transform our auto sector and create good jobs,” said Premier Doug Ford.
At full production, the plant will produce annual cathode material volumes to manufacture batteries for one million battery-electric vehicles – almost 20 per cent of all North American EV production at the end of the decade.
“This important investment by Umicore will turn Ontario into a North American leader in this high-value segment of the EV supply chain and further connect Northern Ontario’s mineral sector to EV manufacturing in the south,” said Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade.
Ontario has committed $56.4 million over the next four years through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) to support innovation and transformation in our auto tech system. The province is home to more than 300 companies and organizations pioneering connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
“I would like to thank Umicore for selecting Loyalist Township as the location for their North American battery materials production facility,” said Jim Hegadorn, Loyalist Township deputy mayor.
“This project represents a huge economic boost to our regional economy, and we are very proud that Loyalist Township is able to make a significant contribution to the EV sector value chain and the electrification revolution.”