Kingston, Ontario — Umicore has become the latest electric vehicle battery developer to claim its stake in Canada, announcing last Wednesday that the company would be investing $1.5 billion to set up an electric vehicle battery materials plant in Loyalist Township, in Eastern Ontario.
The Belgium-based technology company expects to employ 1,000 people at the new facility, set to be located about 24 kilometres outside Kingston, and will manufacture cathode active materials (CAM) and precursor cathode active materials (pCAM) for the EV battery supply market.
The press release claims that cathodes account for about 50 percent of the value of an EV battery, and that this investment marks a key link-up between Ontario’s precious metal-producing north, where vital EV battery materials like nickel, cobalt, manganese, and lithium are mined, and the manufacturing corridor of Eastern Ontario.
“Today is another perfect example that our plan to rebuild Ontario’s auto industry is gaining speed and will deliver huge wins for communities,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
“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.”
Once at full production, Umicore’s new Ontario plant is expected to produce battery materials to supply one million battery-electric vehicles and aims to be “near-carbon-neutral.”
As well, the plant would be the first of its kind to combine production of precursor cathode active materials (pCAM) and cathode active materials at the same facility.
Umicore’s new facility is expected to span about 350 acres and will see construction begin at some point in 2023. Production is expected to begin at the end of 2025.