Umicore to build cathode active material plant in Canada
24 July 2022
Umicore plans to construct a manufacturing facility for cathode active battery materials (CAM) and their precursor materials (pCAM) in Ontario, Canada. For Umicore this investment represents the final step in establishing a global production presence with battery material value chains that are regionally fully integrated to support its customers in their fast transformation towards sustainable electric mobility.
The planned facility would be the first of its kind in North America, combining cathode and precursor materials manufacturing at a large industrial scale and thereby completing the missing link in Canada’s battery value chain, from natural resources to electric mobility.
Umicore is in negotiations with several potential customers for production contracts in North America. This will form the basis for Umicore’s investment decision and underlines its commitment to value creative returns.
Umicore and the Government of Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to finalize the support application of the project under the Strategic Innovation Fund. This MoU follows a recently signed agreement with Loyalist Township to secure a plot of land of about 350 acres in Loyalist, Ontario, to this effect. The location, in the center of Canada’s automotive eco-system, offers critical advantages such as access to a highly skilled workforce, key infrastructure and renewable energy, which the new plant will be running on 100% from start of production.
Umicore is targeting to start construction in 2023 and operations at the end of 2025 with the potential to reach by the end of the decade an annual production capacity capable of powering approximately one million EVs.
Umicore will also 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 and—in line with its earlier announced ambition to establish a regional presence in North America—across the CAM value chain.
Currently, Umicore serves its battery materials customers in Europe through its cathode precursor and cobalt refining plant in Kokkola, Finland, and its battery materials plant in Nysa, Poland, which is the continent’s first industrial-scale cathode materials plant. In Asia, Umicore serves its customers from its plants in Jiangmen, China, and Cheonan, Korea.
As part of its Let’s go for Zero ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) ambitions, Umicore aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. Access to renewable energy across its sites is a key lever to reaching this goal. Moreover, Umicore aims to become the leading supplier of low-carbon battery materials, driving decarbonization through its unique positioning in the battery value chain.