From governments a billion dollars to produce batteries

TORONTO – The federal and Ontario governments are investing nearly $1 billion in an electric vehicle battery component plant in eastern Ontario. This is the $2.761 billion Umicore plant – according to Global News – in Loyalist Township, which will build active cathode materials and precursor cathode materials.

The two governments announced yesterday that Ottawa will set aside $551.3 million for the project and that Ontario will spend up to $424.6 million in capital costs.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Umicore’s investment represents a huge vote of confidence in Ontario. “The plant will create 600 direct jobs and, as I always say, in the automotive industry there are seven secondary jobs for every job we see here” he said, adding that “across the province there will be thousands of jobs Indeed, this will stimulate the economy and activity in the mining, automotive, manufacturing and even service sectors.”

Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, in turn stated that the Umicore facility (based in Belgium) will bring great economic benefits to Ontario and strengthen Canada’s position as a “green supplier of choice. It’s about jobs, it’s about growth, it’s about opportunity and we are truly together building Ontario as an economic powerhouse” he said.

Production will begin in early 2026 and the plant 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 this is the start of the company’s battery materials supply chain in North America. “This facility will be one of a kind because it will combine active cathode materials with precursors and is the first facility to do so in North America” he said.

Two electric vehicle battery plants are also under construction in Ontario: Volkswagen in St. Thomas and Stellantis LG in Windsor.

In the pic above, Premier Ford and Minister Champagne with “Umicore” staff, yesterday (photo from Twitter X – @FP_Champagne)