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Canada, Ontario governments put nearly $1B toward EV battery parts plant

An electric vehicle is charged in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The federal and Ontario governments are putting nearly $1 billion combined into an electric vehicle battery component plant in eastern Ontario.

The up to $2.761-billion Umicore facility in Loyalist Township will build cathode active materials and precursor cathode active materials.

Government ministers announced Monday that Ottawa is set to put $551.3 million toward the project and Ontario is set to spend up to $424.6 million in capital costs.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Umicore’s investment is a huge vote of confidence in Ontario.

“The plant is going to create 600 direct jobs and I always say in the auto sector, there’s seven spinoff jobs for every one job that we see here,” he said.

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“Right across the province it’s going to be multiples of thousands of jobs. In fact, that’s going to boost the economy and activity across (the) mining, auto, manufacturing sectors and the service sector as well.”

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Federal Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said the Belgium-based Umicore facility will bring great economic benefits to Ontario and strengthen Canada’s position as the “green supplier of choice.”

“It’s about jobs, it’s about growth, it’s about opportunities and we are really together building Ontario as an economic powerhouse,” he said.

Production is set to begin in early 2026 and the facility is expected to produce enough battery materials to support 800,000 electric vehicles per year, Ontario Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli said.

Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich said it is the start of the company’s battery materials supply chain in North America.

“This plant will be unique, it will be a one of its kind because it will combine cathode active materials with precursors and that’s the first plant that will do that in North America,” he said.

Two electric vehicle battery plants are also in the works in Ontario — Volkswagen in St. Thomas, Ont., and Stellantis LG in Windsor, Ont.

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