François-Philippe Champagne, federal minister of innovation, science and industry, said the CAM plant decision is a “home run” for Quebec that will reintegrate its economy into the global passenger vehicle supply chain.
GM’s announcement follows a similar plan from chemical giant BASF for a CAM plant disclosed on Friday. The German company is at an earlier stage of development, having purchased land, also in Bécancour, for a processing plant expected to open in 2025.
And Champagne promised the two plants would not be the last for Quebec, or Canada more broadly.
“I can assure you that there’s more to come. We have been clear from the get-go that we want to see from the mine to the recycling and everything in between.”
GM said it chose Quebec because of its low-cost, hydro-powered electricity grid, predictable environmental standards and logistical links, such as a nearby deep-water port. Access to Canadian battery mineral capacity also played a role, said David Paterson, GM Canada’s vice-president for corporate and environmental affairs.
Paterson would not share the plant’s planned capacity or square-footage, but said all of its production will be used to supply GM’s four Ultium battery cell plants, which will all be located in the United States.
All four of those facilities will be located in the United States, with the automaker having detailed plans for three and committed to another.
The cells will power the automaker’s next-generation EVs, such as its Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyric.
Construction on the new plant in Bécancour — located on the south side of the St. Lawrence River, directly across from Trois-Rivières — will begin immediately. GM said the plant is expected to employ 200 on a footprint that will also allow for future expansion.
The CAM plant is scheduled to begin production in the first quarter of 2025.