Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was joined by local dignitaries from every level of government at Queen’s University today, Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022, to announce a multi-billion-dollar investment to build a first-of-its-kind industrial scale cathode and precursor materials manufacturing plant in Loyalist Township.
This investment of about C$1.5 billion by Umicore N.V., a multinational circular materials technology company based in Belgium, will support building an end-to-end electric vehicle (EV) supply chain in the province, becoming a North American hub for building the cars of the future, those at the announcement said.
“Today’s announcement is about creating jobs, cutting pollution, and building a stronger, cleaner economy for Canadians,” said Trudeau. “Umicore’s decision to establish its new facility in Loyalist Township is another major step forward as we make Canada a global leader in producing electric vehicles – from minerals to manufacturing. With over 1,000 good jobs to build the plant, and hundreds of permanent positions once it is up and running, this new facility will play an important role in Canada’s clean automotive sector well into the future.”
Spanning about 350 acres, the new facility will be located at Taylor Kidd Boulevard and County Road 4, just west of Kingston in Loyalist Township. According to Loyalist Township MPP Ric Bresee, the lot will be bounded by Taylor Kidd Boulevard, County Road 4, and Highway 33, near the Bombardier plant. Construction is targeted to begin in 2023 (although those in attendance indicated construction may even begin this year), with operations planned for the end of 2025.
The near-carbon-neutral facility in Loyalist Township will manufacture cathode active materials (CAM) and precursor cathode active materials (pCAM), critical components in the production of EV batteries. According to a press release, at full production the plant will produce annual cathode material volumes sufficient to manufacture batteries for one million battery-electric vehicles – almost 20 per cent of all North American EV production at the end of the decade.
Umicore’s plant will be running 100 per cent on renewable energy from the start, according to the government. It would be the first industrial scale facility to combine production of precursor cathode active materials (pCAM) and cathode active materials at the same facility.
“This important investment by Umicore will turn Ontario into a North American leader in this high-value segment of the EV supply chain and further connect Northern Ontario’s mineral sector to EV manufacturing in the south,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “With recent success attracting major investments to the province, our government is staking Ontario’s claim to developing and building the batteries that will power vehicles of the future.”
“Ontario has 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,” said Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore. “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.”
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, added, “Canada is leading the world when it comes to the jobs of the future in the low carbon economy. Today’s announcement with Umicore builds on recent investments that our government has made to build a thriving EV battery supply chain in Canada. We’re ensuring a strong and resilient economy, while also creating tens of thousands of well-paying jobs right across the country.”
Representing local municipalities and ridings, MP Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands), MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox and Addington), MPP Ted Hsu (Kingston and the Islands), MPP Ric Bresee (Hastings-Lennox and Addington), Mayor Bryan Paterson (Kingston), Mayor Marg Isbester (Napanee), and Deputy Mayor Jim Hegadorn (Loyalist) were joined by many representatives of Queen’s University, including Principal Patrick Deane.
“This is such an exciting opportunity for all of us,” MPP Bresee said. “I want to highlight the work of Loyalist Township, the County of Lennox and Addington, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and the Federal Ministry of Innovation Science and Industry, all working cooperatively and in tandem with the team at Umicore that brought this project to fruition. I am grateful to all for the hard work… This will be transformative for the industry and for our communities.” MPP Bresee said, sentiments echoed by his former colleague around the horseshoe in Loyalist.
Deputy Mayor Hegadorn, Bresee’s former colleague around the Loyalist horseshoe, echoed those sentiments. “I would like to thank Umicore for selecting Loyalist Township as the location for their North American battery materials production facility. This project represents a huge economic boost to our regional economy, and we are very proud that Loyalist Township is able to make a significant contribution to the EV sector value chain and the electrification revolution.”
With files from Cris Vilela.