Canada and Quebec Invest $644 Million in New Ford Battery Plant
In a significant move that underscores Canada’s commitment to green innovation, the Government of Canada and the Province of Quebec announced a joint investment of $644 million towards the establishment of a new battery materials production facility in Bécancour, Quebec.
On August 17, 2023, at an event in Bécancour, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, was joined by François Legault, Premier of Quebec, and Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Economy, Innovation, and Energy, to break the news.
The plant, a collaboration between the Ford Motor Company, South Korea’s EcoProBM, and SK On, is set to be a focal point of a project valued at over $1.2 billion, projected to generate more than 345 job opportunities.
Once operational, the EcoPro CAM Canada facility will churn out an 45,000 tonnes of cathode active materials every year. These materials are poised to be the core components in batteries that will power Ford’s upcoming electric vehicle lineup. The plant’s doors are expected to open for operations by early 2026.
The funding details revealed that the Government of Canada will be making a conditional contribution of $322 million via the Strategic Innovation Fund, while an equivalent amount will be offered by the Government of Quebec in the form of a partially forgivable loan through Investissement Québec.
Minister Champagne lauded the move, emphasizing that it fortifies Quebec’s central role in the electric vehicle supply chain and strengthens Canada’s broader battery ecosystem. Premier Legault echoed this sentiment, proudly highlighting Quebec’s growing attractiveness to global industry giants in the realm of green innovation. Fitzgibbon further amplified Quebec’s dedication to pioneering the battery sector and its appeal to worldwide industry leaders, given its rich natural resources and commitment to clean energy.
Ford Motor Company’s President and CEO, Bev Goodman, expressed enthusiasm for the company’s inaugural investment in Quebec. She articulated Ford’s vision of shaping the electric vehicle ecosystem in the province through this significant investment. Echoing this sentiment, Jae-hwan Joo, CEO of EcoProBM, shared their company’s intention to bolster the local Canadian and Quebec economy and emphasized their readiness to recruit local talent. Meanwhile, SK On’s Chief Commercial Officer, Min-suk Sung, spoke about the venture’s potential to ensure a consistent supply of battery raw materials in North America.
The joint venture, known as EcoPro CAM Canada, was established earlier in 2023. It is a combined effort of the American automobile titan, Ford, South Korea’s cathode materials producer, EcoPro BM Co., and EV battery producer SK On Co.
This groundbreaking project aligns seamlessly with Quebec’s battery sector development strategy, aptly named the Stratégie québécoise de développement de la filière batterie. This venture is set to be a linchpin, accelerating the value chain in the sector. Moreover, the Vallée de la transition énergétique, spanning Bécancour, Trois-Rivières, and Shawinigan, is a testament to Quebec’s dedication to fostering the battery sector, promoting transportation electrification, and championing green hydrogen production.