Federal and provincial governments in Canada are supporting half of the costs for a new Cathode Active Materials (CAM) processing plant, set for construction in Bécancour, Québec. Initially announced in March of 2022, the new facility is part of a joint venture between GM and POSCO Future M, and will cost more than C$600 million to build. Production is expected to ramp up in the first half of 2025, and will create approximately 200 new full-time jobs.
Recent reports indicate that government contributions include a C$150 million loan from both Canadian and Québec governments for a total of C$300 million – or about US$221 million at the current exchange rate. GM indicates that government support, the region’s excellent industrial site, and access to low-carbon hydroelectricity were all important factors in determining the location of the new plant.
“Our investment in Bécancour-based CAM production is an important step in building a more secure and resilient North America-focused supply chain to support GM’s fast-growing EV production needs and this site offers room to grow for the JV and its partners in the future,” said GM executive director for EV Raw Materials’ Center of Excellence, Sham Kunjur. “GM started by establishing battery cell production in the U.S. From there, we have been working through the entire battery supply chain, all the way to raw material recovery. We’re building higher levels of vertical integration, driving expanded investment and helping create jobs across North America.”
Cathode Active Materials are critical for the positive electrode in lithium-ion batteries. According to GM, CAMs represents roughly 40 percent of the total cost of a battery cell. The new facility in Québec will have an initial production capacity of 30,000 tonnes, with room for expansion.
GM recently announced that it was set to build a fourth battery plant in the U.S. in partnership with Samsung SDI. GM and Samsung are considering South Bend, Indiana as the location for the new battery plant. GM hopes to launch 30 new EV models globally by 2025, and will fully electrify its light-duty vehicle lineup by 2035.