Tuesday Ticker: March 8, 2022

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— In this weekly Tuesday newspaper, two major automotive players announce their intention to establish themselves in Quebec, focusing on materials for electric vehicles.

BASF and the “first pillar”

In a move that could prove significant for Canada’s placement in the electric vehicle battery market, BASF has announced plans for the company’s “first pillar” to expand into North America, under the shape of a battery materials plant in Bécancour, Quebec.

The company said the facility, which is expected to enter service in 2025, will produce and recycle cathode active materials (CAMs) for the North American electric vehicle market.

According to a Reuters report from May last year, BASF is in talks with the federal government to help the company get involved in a cleantech fund and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has since confirmed that the government supported BASF’s plans. for enlargement.

“I see BASF as the first pillar of the battery ecosystem in Canada,” said Champagne.

“This is certainly a substantial investment, both for the company and for us…as a federal government.

BASF already produces CAM at two sites in Ohio and Michigan, in partnership with the Japanese Toda Kogyo Corp.

Last September, the company forecast its battery materials revenue to reach more than 1.5 billion euros ($2.09 billion) by 2023 and more than 7 billion euros ($9.73 billion). dollars) by 2030.

Additionally, Mr. Champagne views BASF’s plans for a Quebec-based plant as an important strategic decision in the context of Canada’s overall automotive supply chain.

“Quebec and Ontario…will be united when it comes to the automotive sector of the future,” Champagne said.

“We’re building around Bécancour, sort of, the complete ecosystem of essential minerals you need to produce a battery…that’s why you’ll see more to come.”

Enter General Motors

General Motors announced similar plans on Monday, revealing that it would also enter Quebec with a new US$400 million battery plant in Bécancour, Quebec.

The plant will produce and recycle cathode active materials (CAMs) for GM’s Ultium batteries, said GM and South Korea’s POSCO Chemical, which first agreed to form a CAM processing joint venture last December.

David Peterson, vice president of corporate and environmental affairs at GM Canada, said Quebec was chosen for several reasons.

“Quebec’s low greenhouse gas emissions and low-cost electricity are very important,” he told Global News. “In addition to its environmental standards, excellent logistical links and a well-educated workforce, some of the other reasons why we chose Quebec.

By the end of 2025, GM plans to have the capacity to build one million electric vehicles in North America.