Belgium materials technology company Umicore has plans to build a manufacturing facility for cathode active battery materials (CAM) and precursor CAM (pCAM) in Ontario, Canada.

The facility would be the company’s first in North America and would bring together cathode and precursor materials manufacturing at a large industrial scale for electric vehicle batteries.

Umicore intends to commence construction next year, with the facility expected to start production by the end of 2025.

The facility will be built with an investment of $1.2bn, reported Reuters.

By 2030, the facility is expected to have an annual production capacity for about one million electric cars.

Currently, the company is in discussions with several potential customers in North America.

Umicore and the Canadian government have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) as per which the project will get support from the Strategic Innovation Fund.

This MoU comes after an agreement was signed with Loyalist Township in eastern Ontario to secure a 350-acre land to build the facility.

The location will enable the company to get access to a skilled workforce, key infrastructure and renewable energy.

The company also plans to explore opportunities for metals refining and battery recycling in North America.

Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich said: “Canada and the Ontario province have 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.

“Once the key customer contracts are in place, 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.”

Umicore has a cathode precursor and cobalt refining plant in Kokkola of Finland, and a battery materials plant in Nysa of Poland. In Asia, Umicore operates facilities in Jiangmen of China, and Cheonan of South Korea.
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Image: The facility will be built with an investment of $1.2bn. Credit: Umicore