Ontario Construction News staff writer
Northvolt, a Swedish battery manufacturer will build a new multibillion-dollar electric vehicle battery plant east of Montreal, the largest private investment in the province’s history.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier François Legault were in Montreal Thursday to announce a combined $2.7 billion for the construction of the factory, expected to be built by the end of 2026.
Trudeau’s government is matching subsidies available for U.S. manufacturing under the Inflation Reduction Act. The support during construction as well as battery production may amount to more than US $5 billion, similar to agreements signed with Volkswagen and Stellantis in Ontario.
It will be Northvolt’s first site outside Europe and will be located about 30 kilometres east of Montreal. The first phase of construction will begin this year and it is expected to be completed in 2026.
Phase one will provide 30 gigawatt hours (GWh) of production capacity, before eventually expanding to 60 GWh with investments approaching $9 billion, said Cerruti, who will lead the project as CEO of Northvolt North America.
.”This is a historic and transformative announcement,” Trudeau said. “This facility will be able to batteries for a million electric vehicles a year and, at full production capacity, the plant will contribute up to $1.6 billion to our economy.”
The company will also be eligible for government production incentives up to $4.6 billion over the next five to nine years, of which one-third is to be paid by the Quebec government, amounting to another $1.5 billion from the province.
“We looked at 70 different sites at the beginning of this process,” Cerruti said. “We were also looking at the United States but eventually Canada made it for the first factory,” noting the availability of sustainable energy, access to skilled workers, proximity to natural resources.
“Today, for the next 50 years, what’s going to be important is the green economy,” Quebec Premier Legault said at the announcement.