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$300M slated for battery component plant in Quebec

$300M slated for battery component plant in Quebec

BECANCOUR, QUE. – The governments of Quebec and Canada have announced $300 million in funding for a factory that will make components for electric vehicle batteries in Becancour, Que., located about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City.

The $600-million factory, a joint project between automaker General Motors and South Korean industrial materials maker POSCO Future M, was first announced by the companies last year.

The factory will manufacture cathode-active materials, a key component of lithium-ion batteries found in electric cars and is expected to employ around 200 people when it opens in 2025.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said the factory, which is already under construction, sends a signal that Quebec is open to investment from international companies as he attempts to make the province a leader in green energy.

Legault said his government is lending the companies $152 million, of which $132 million will be forgiven if the factory maintains the promised jobs for 10 years.

The project is part of a larger green energy corridor that includes Becancour and the nearby cities of Trois-Rivieres and Shawinigan, which are home to a number of companies and research institutions doing work related to electric vehicles, Legault said.

Federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters Ottawa will provide a “contribution” of up to $147 million, but he did not specify the nature of the funding.

The announcement comes a little more than a week after automaker Ford announced it would buy thousands of tonnes of lithium hydroxide — a component in electric car batteries — produced by Quebec company Nemaska Lithium at its Becancour plant.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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