Canada secures $1.2 billion battery materials plant supporting EV ambitions

The Canadian government and Belgian technology and recycling company Umicore have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will eventually yield a US$1.2 billion battery materials plant in Ontario.

The two parties will shortly start negotiations on a formal agreement that would include federal support for the project, which will supply parts to one million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, according to an official statement.

Umicore plans to begin construction in 2023 with operations slated for the end of 2025. The facility will produce net zero emissions and create hundreds of permanent jobs, the company said.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Umicore’s intention to establish its new facility in Loyalist Township (in Eastern Ontario) is another major step forward as we make Canada a global leader in producing EVs.”

The Canadian government sees the auto sector as a key part of its efforts to lower the national carbon footprint and meet its net zero by 2050 target. Earlier this year, Canada committed to setting a mandate to ensure that all new light-duty vehicle sales are zero emissions by 2035.

The Umicore battery materials plant will provide a downstream avenue supporting Canada’s integrated EV supply chain. The country possesses all of the 31 minerals in the country’s critical minerals list, according to Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, but is yet to fully flesh out downstream areas of the value chain.