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Saturday, Dec 2, 2023
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Ford and South Korean partners build $1.2B battery materials plant in Quebec

The project is expected to create 345 jobs and produce 45,000 tonnes of cathode active materials per annum

Ford's depiction of what the plant will look like; this is the company's first investment in Quebec. Photo via Ford Motor Company
Ford's depiction of what the plant will look like; this is the company's first investment in Quebec. Photo via Ford Motor Company

A consortium led by Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and the South Korean electric vehicle (EV) technology developers EcoPro BM Co Ltd (KOSDAQ: 247540) and SK Innovation Co Ltd (KRX: 096770) is building a major battery materials plant in Bécancour, Quebec valued at $1.2 billion.

The Canadian government announced that it would be contributing $644 million to the project on Thursday and construction has already started. Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund will provide $344 million and the Government of Quebec has allocated a partially forgivable loan of $322 million via Investissement Québec.

Production is expected to begin in the first half of 2026 and the 280,000 square-metre site is expected to create 345 jobs

The facility will be focused on producing cathode active materials (CAM), which will include the critical components of rechargeable batteries: nickel, cobalt and manganese. It will be capable of producing 45,000 tonnes of CAM per annum, supporting the production of 225,000 EVs annually, and will include a six-storey building.

“We are laying the foundations for an industry that will allow Quebec to become a leader in both the North American and the global green economy,” said Quebec’s Premier François Legault in a statement.

Read more: BlackBerry to provide software platform for electric vehicle consortium

Read more: Ford invests $1.8B to redesign Oakville Assembly Complex for electric vehicles

EcoPro BM will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations at the plant and its Canadian subsidiary established in February, EcoPro CAM Canada LP, will be engaging in research and development of ways to improve battery performance, safety and environmental sustainability.

The subsidiary was created by the three companies in the consortium and its establishment as a joint venture is still subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Ford and SK plan to invest in EcoPro CAM Canada LP once those conditions are met.

EcoPro BM says it plans to make contributions to the community in Quebec and development of the local economy. Ford says North America is a key region for SK’s growth plans as well.

The automotive manufacturer says there will be a particular focus on developing materials needed for its future electric trucks. “This cathode facility will supply the material that goes into Ford’s future EVs in North America, specifically some of our future trucks,” said Ford’s Vice President for EVs Lisa Drake.

“This is very significant for Quebec, because as you know the auto sector has been primarily investing in Ontario, but now we have GM, now we have Ford in Bécancour,” said Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne to reporters.

A February report from The Brainy Insights, an Indian market researcher, said that the global market for CAM would be worth almost twice what it was last year by 2032 — ascending from US$22 billion to US$40.5 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3 per cent.

Ford shares rose by 0.4 per cent Wednesday to US$11.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.


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