Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that metals refiner Umicore has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to invest $1.5 billion and build a new electric vehicle (EV) battery materials plant in Ontario.
The net-zero facility will be built in Loyalist Township and will create 1,000 jobs during construction and hundreds of permanent positions once the facility is operational.
Umicore hopes to begin construction in 2023 and aims to have it up and running by the end of 2025. By the end of the decade the company hopes to be able to produce enough precursor cathode materials and cathode active materials to supply one million EVs each year.
“Canada and the province of Ontario have all it takes for Umicore to establish a full-fledged, sustainable supply chain for battery materials, all the way from the mine right to the end-market of electric vehicles. Once the key customer contracts are in place, this expansion in North America would complete our global rollout of regional supply chains for our automotive and battery cell customers to now three continents. Moreover, we are most grateful to the Canadian and Ontario governments for their support and for their readiness to co-fund this planned project. The facility will help Canada and Umicore in their shared objective of achieving a carbon-neutral battery supply chain,” said Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore.
Today’s announcement marks the signing of the MOU, and the federal government and Umicore will continue to negotiate the particulars of the deal, including whether there will be federal support for the project.
According to Ontario’s Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli, the new facility will be the first industrial-scale manufacturing plant of its kind in North America.