Ontario Construction News staff writer
Magna has announced a plan to expand operations at its Chatham facility to accommodate a new contract with Ford.
The $50 million expansion will create a 170,000-square-foot facility to produce battery enclosures for the Ford F-150 Lighting electric pick-up truck.
This is an extension of current operations in St. Thomas and will support the new business from Ford Motor Company and construction will retrofit the former Crown Cork & Seal metal packaging plant at 125 Irwin St.
Battery enclosures, which all electric vehicles require, house high-voltage batteries, electrical components, sensors and connectors, contributing to the structural and safety aspects of a vehicle’s frame and protecting critical components from potential impact, heat and water.
“With the hard work of our team members in our Formet, St. Thomas facility, we have been able to secure additional business that allows us to grow in two great communities,” Formet Industries General Manager Mark Johnson said in a statement.
“We are coming to Chatham with new job opportunities working on an exciting new technology that offers a lot of growth potential.”
Magna says the innovation is the largest lightweight aluminum battery enclosure on the market and the first on a work truck.
“As Chatham-Kent continues to grow, we’re thrilled that Magna has chosen our community,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff. “This investment is excellent news for the people of Chatham-Kent; it’s creating great jobs, in a rapidly growing industry, with a fantastic and very well-established company.”
“Chatham-Kent has been taking an active role in encouraging investments in green, innovative, and future-thinking technologies, so Magna really is a perfect fit here. CK is an expanding community with a great history in the manufacturing sector and we look forward to supporting in their growth and success for years to come,” said Stuart McFadden, director of Economic Development Services.