Umicore and the governments of Canada and Ontario have finalised the agreement to proceed with the construction of a 35GWh electric vehicle (EV) battery materials production plant in Loyalist, Ontario, Canada.

The proposed project entails a total eligible cost of up to C$2.76bn ($1.99bn).

Based on the full scope of the project, the Canadian and Ontario governments have announced investments of C$551.3m ($404.38m) and C$424.6m ($311.44m), respectively, for the EV battery materials production plant.

Umicore plans to invest €1.27bn until 2026 for the proposed Canadian plant.

Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich said: “Umicore is proud and delighted with the unwavering support and financial backing of Canada and Ontario. Their readiness to co-fund our investment coupled with the announcement of our first customer contract for the Loyalist plant means we can forge ahead with the construction.

“We are committed to being a reliable transformation partner for the automotive and battery industry and a trustworthy neighbour for the communities in Ontario.”

To be developed in multiple stages, the new facility will produce cathode active materials (CAM) and precursor cathode active materials (pCAM), which are critical components for making EV batteries.

According to Umicore, the Canadian manufacturing plant will be fully equipped to generate the most advanced high-nickel technologies and is ready for future battery chemistries such as manganese-rich HLM and solid-state batteries.

The engineering and permitting process is proceeding for the EV battery materials production facility, said the company. The plant will be built on a 141-ha plot about 25km from Kingston.

Umicore aims to commence the construction of the plant later this year, with the commissioning expected at the end of 2025 and production ramping up as of 2026.

The proposed EV battery materials manufacturing facility is estimated to create nearly 1,000 jobs during its construction phase.

Besides, it is expected to generate several hundred highly skilled positions will be created in operations.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said: “Umicore’s investment represents another strong vote of confidence in our rapidly growing electric vehicle and battery supply chain.

“Together, with our government, industry and labour partners, we’re putting our auto sector back on the map, attracting billions of dollars in new investments, creating thousands of new good-paying jobs and ensuring the cars of the future will be made in Ontario, from start to finish.”