Umicore chooses Canada for first-of-its-kind EV battery materials plant

Group of men and women standing on stage at business event

Belgium-based Umicore has announced a $1.5 billion investment in an electric vehicle (EV) battery facility in Loyalist, Ontario. Located just west of Kingston, the plant will produce the vital EV battery materials critical to Canada’s increasingly significant role in the EV revolution.  It will combine cathode active materials and precursor material manufacturing on a large industrial scale – a first for North America, and a key link in the EV supply chain. 

Once the plant is up and running by 2025, Umicore’s investment is expected to supply materials for up to one million electric vehicles a year and will be an important part of a growing Canadian ecosystem. For a sense of scale of the expected production, in all of 2021, there were a total of 1.6 million new motor vehicles registered across Canada.  

Foreign direct investment in general helps build a prosperous, sustainable economy for communities across the country. Loyalist specifically will see the creation of up to 1,00 well-paying jobs for the community. 

Foreign direct investment in our area – and  particularly within Loyalist Township – will have a great impact on everything from skilled workers and the talent that’s needed [through to] the community with infrastructure improvement and infrastructure upgrades.

Jim Hegadorn, Deputy Mayor, Loyalist Township

Watch this video to learn more about this innovative investment and what it means for Canadians.

Canada’s commitment to ESG: a virtuous cycle 

Umicore has made clear its focus on sustainable manufacturing. While announcing the new site in Loyalist, CEO Mathias Miedreich reiterated that commitment, explaining the company chose Ontario in part because the province’s power grid – mainly hydroelectric and nuclear power – that will allow the factory to produce battery components with net-zero carbon emissions. 

Additionally, Umicore will explore opportunities for metals refining and battery recycling in North America, to offer its customers in the region secure and circular access to critical battery materials. 

In turn, this will help Canada contribute to the fight against climate change. Foreign investment is enabling made-in-Canada green products, solutions and expertise to be exported globally. 

Foreign direct investments that are this innovative contribute strongly to building a prosperous and sustainable economy for Canadians, and are the kind of exciting investments we want to keep seeing in Canada.

Katie Curran, Interim CEO, Invest in Canada 

Invest in Canada: a trusted partner

As Umicore was in the process of identifying the location for its first cathode materials plant in North America, Invest in Canada worked collaboratively with federal government partners, promoting and positioning Canada as the number one option.   

Even after Umicore settled on a location, Invest in Canada supported the company every step of the way – from acquiring the land all the way to the official announcement, introducing company executives to key players in the ecosystem along the way. 

As Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich pointed out, after months of talks with federal and provincial officials, the company was ultimately swayed by one simple fact over other potential locations in North America: “Canada spoke with one voice.” 

Canada: the place to invest in the EV supply chain

Enthusiasm in Canada has grown over the past year as a number of global companies announced major commitments in the Canadian EV space, adding more links to the battery supply chain. This includes South Korea-based LG Energy Solution and Netherlands-based Stellantis’ plan to build a major battery manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario, as well as two separate announcements to build $500 million cathode manufacturing plants in Bécancour, Quebec – from Germany-based BASF and from South Korea-based POSCO in partnership with U.S.-based General Motors.  

These types of foreign direct investments are an example of why global companies can play a crucial role in helping Canada reduce its carbon emissions by moving towards a future that can help decarbonize mobility.