Belgian battery company announces $1.5-billion investment in Ontario – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 13, 2022)

Battery supply chain plant near Kingston, Ont., getting significant government financial support

Belgium-based Umicore SA on Wednesday announced plans to build a $1.5-billion battery supply chain plant near Kingston, Ont., powered entirely by renewable energy, with significant financial support from the federal and provincial governments.

The plant would produce battery precursor active material and battery cathode active material, filling in missing pieces and adding a new eastern terminus to Ontario’s emerging battery supply chain, which already includes a battery cell manufacturing plant.

Umicore, which specializes in chemicals and materials, said both the federal government and Ontario provided financial support, but did not offer any details. In the past, both levels of government have said that publicizing details would compromise ongoing and future negotiations with other battery and electric vehicle manufacturers.

Nonetheless, based on leaks and other statements by public officials, support for such a project could be expected to consist of hundreds of millions of dollars in forgivable loans.

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