Go East, Young Man
Southwestern Ontario has long been the heart of Canada’s automotive industry, but that didn’t stop Mathias Miedreich from looking further east in the province. Umicore is planning a $1.5-billion battery materials plant near the eastern Ontario city of Kingston.
The plant could create “several hundred” jobs by 2025 if Umicore can deal with several potential customers for production contracts in North America. It will blend lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese into precursor cathode active materials (PCAM) before converting them into battery-ready cathode active materials (CAM).
Miedreich, 47, said the Kingston area was chosen because of its talent pool and the cost, availability and shovel-readiness of land. The federal and provincial governments also chipped in with grants. Miedreich, who became CEO in October 2021, walks the green talk, aiming to run the Kingston plant on renewable energy.
“We can keep cars and trucks on the road while also embracing a climate-friendly future.”
Miedreich said putting down roots in Canada will complete the company’s three-continent-wide EV battery supply chain.
“Investing in Canada is for us the best equation to drive our North American business forward.”