Belgian metals refiner Umicore SA is building a $1.5-billion factory near Kingston, Ont. to produce components for electric vehicle batteries, the latest in a series of Canadian investments by automotive manufacturers.
Once operational, Umicore’s facility will see approximately 700 employees transform raw materials, including nickel, cobalt and lithium, into battery parts, creating what Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne described in an interview as a “supply chain ecosystem for electric vehicle manufacturing.”
In recent months, carmakers General Motors Co. and Stellantis N.V., parent of Jeep and Chrysler, announced plans to build battery and electric vehicle manufacturing facilities in Ontario.
In an interview, Umicore chief executive Mathias Miedreich said the company decided to anchor its North American expansion in the province, rather than the U.S., after automotive customers consistently endorsed Ontario during a six-month search process.