New funding to support Canada’s first cathode active materials facility

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Government of Quebec is loaning $151.87 million to Ultium CAM, a limited partnership of General Motors (GM) and of POSCO Future M, for construction of a production plant for battery materials in Bécancour, in the Centre-du-Québec region.

Also, the federal government has announced up to $147-million through the Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator initiative to support GM-POSCO’s more than $600-million project.

“Our project has stayed on schedule thanks to our excellent local construction and engineering partners. We will soon begin our hiring and training of permanent employees for our operations, which will begin in 2025,” Ultium CAM president Cha Chi-gyu said in a statement.

CAM are key battery materials that consist of components like processed nickel, lithium and other materials that make up about 40% of the cost of a battery. The federal government is investing through the Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator initiative to support GM-POSCO’s more than $600-million project.

The GM-POSCO joint venture, called Ultium CAM is expected to strengthen Canada’s electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem and economy for years to come.

“Quebec’s battery sector is up and running. This is a historic investment by GM and POSCO. Thanks to its natural resources, talent and renewable energy, Quebec is attracting the giants of the electrification industry. We will be announcing additional transformative projects shortly. Quebec is where the world’s greenest batteries will be produced,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s minister of economy, innovation and energy.

In 2022, Canada’s automotive manufacturing sector contributed nearly $14 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and directly employed over 125,000 Canadians.

The federal budget for 2023 included $500 million over 10 years to the Strategic Innovation Fund to support the development and application of clean technologies. The Strategic Innovation Fund will also direct up to $1.5 billion of its existing resources toward projects in clean technologies, critical minerals and industrial transformation.

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