Auto major Ford Motor Co. and its South Korean partners SK On and EcoProBM announced an investment of C$1.2 billion or about $885 million to build a cathode manufacturing facility in Quebec, Canada. Through the cathode joint venture or JV, the three companies are expected to have a stable supply of battery raw materials in North America.
The new facility is part of Ford’s plan to localize key battery raw material processing in regions where it produces electric vehicles or EVs. The facility will provide materials that ultimately supply batteries for Ford’s future EV and would solidify EV supply chain in North America.
The facility, called EcoPro CAM Canada LP, was established in February by EcoProBM, which will oversee its day-to-day operations. Ford and SK On will become investors once the deal is closed. The manufacturing joint venture is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
The companies have initiated the construction on the 280,000 square-meter or more than 3 million square-feet site, which will include a six-floor building. The site also will pursue research and development activities.
The production at the facility, Ford’s first investment in Quebec, is targeted to begin in the first half of 2026. At that time, the site will have the capacity to produce up to 45,000 tonnes of Cathode Active Materials or CAM per year, supporting production of up to 225,000 electric vehicles annually.
EcoPro CAM Canada LP will create approximately 345 new jobs in Canada. It will manufacture cathode active materials and, more precisely, high quality Nickel Cobalt Manganese or NCM for rechargeable batteries. These targets greater performance levels and improved EV range compared to existing products, thanks in part to EcoPro’s core shell gradient or CSG technology.
Bev Goodman, president and CEO, Ford of Canada, said, “Ford has been serving customers in Canada for 119 years, longer than any other automaker, and we’re excited to invest in this new facility to create a vertically integrated, closed-loop battery manufacturing supply chain in North America designed to help make electric vehicles more accessible for millions of people over time.”
The latest partnership marks EcoProBM’ entry into North America. In 2021, EcoProBM established a complete cathode material ecosystem in Pohang, Korea.
South Korean battery maker SK On currently operates two battery plants and is adding four more plants with its partners in North America. The company’s annual production capacity in North America is expected to reach more than 180 GWh after 2025, which is enough to power about 1.7 million EVs a year.
François Legault, Premier of Quebec, added, “After GM-Posco this spring, we are announcing a new major investment of 1.2 billion in the Vallée de la transition énergétique, which will allow for the construction of a new cathode active materials plant in Bécancour.”
In early June, auto major GM and POSCO Future M, an energy materials firm, announced their second phase of Ultium CAM joint venture or JV of over $1 billion, aiming to raise the output of CAM in North America and integrate precursor materials production.
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