Umicore finalizes agreement with feds, province to build EV battery plant west of Kingston


The federal and provincial governments have finalized an agreement with global materials technology and recycling group Umicore to proceed with the construction of a new plant in Loyalist Township west of Kingston.

The facility will manufacture cathode active materials (CAM) and precursor cathode active materials (pCAM), critical components for producing electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

On Monday, Umicore Rechargeable Battery Materials Canada Inc. announced it will invest $2.1 billion in the first stage of the project, of which $1.8 billion is capital expenditures, for a battery materials production capacity of 35 GWh annually. 

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“Umicore is proud of, and delighted with, the unwavering support and financial backing of Canada and Ontario,” said Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore, in a news release. “Their readiness to co-fund our investment coupled with the announcement of our first customer contract for the Loyalist plant mean we can forge ahead with the construction.”

Based on the full scope of the project, which will be carried out in stages, the federal government is providing $551.3 million, while the province is investing up to $424.6 million.

In the first stage, the company will create 600 direct jobs, plus an additional 700 co-op positions throughout the project, making Umicore one of the largest private employers in Eastern Ontario. 

The first of its kind in North America, the facility will produce CAM and pCAM on an industrial scale for EV and battery producers in Canada and the U.S. The project was first announced in July 2022.

The full project has the potential to produce enough battery materials to support the production of more than 800,000 EVs per year, utilizing Canadian critical minerals such as nickel, lithium and cobalt and strengthening the domestic EV supply chain and batteries ecosystem. The facility will be nearly carbon-neutral, according to the news release. 

“Canada has everything it needs to be a global leader in the green economy: access to global markets, a talented workforce, clean energy, world-leading innovation ecosystems and all the critical mineral resources necessary to make EV batteries,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne in the release. 

Umicore is a circular materials technology company that works to reduce emissions, power the vehicles and technologies of the future, and give new life to used metals. Umicore has a precious metals business in Markham and an emissions catalyst business in Burlington.

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