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EcoProBM, SK On, Ford to build C$1.2B cathode manufacturing plant in Québec

Graphic rendering of the cathode manufacturing plant under construction in Quebec. Source: Ford
SK On, EcoProBM and Ford recently announced a joint investment of C$1.2 billion to build a cathode manufacturing facility in Québec, Canada. Scheduled to begin production in 2026, the facility is to provide key battery materials for Ford's future electric vehicles in the region.

The planned site will have the capacity to produce up to 45,000 tonnes of CAM per year, supporting the making of up to 225,000 EVs annually. EcoProBM will oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility, while SK On and Ford will become investors once the deal is closed, according to the partners' joint statement. 

EcoPro CAM Canada LP will manufacture cathode active materials, in particular, the high quality Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) for EV batteries that are targeting greater performance levels and improved range compared to existing products, using EcoPro's core shell gradient (CSG) technology.

Canada is the second global market expansion after Hungary for the South Korean firm EcoProBM, and marks the company's entry into North America. "By expanding in North America, we looks forward to globalizing our growth in cathode materials, which has been a unique strength of our company," said Jae-hwan Joo, EcoProBM CEO. 

RELATED: Ford investing $3.5 bn on a 35 GWh LFP battery plant in Michigan

"We also are prepared to contribute to the community in Canada and Québec and contribute to the development of the local economy, including by hiring locally", Joo added. In 2021, the company established a complete cathode material ecosystem in Pohang, Korea, handling everything from recycling waste batteries to producing lithium, precursors and cathode materials.

For SK On, the new facility is part of its efforts to secure a stable supply of key battery materials in the region. The battery maker is currently operating two battery plants, and is adding four more plants with its partners in North America. 

"Through the cathode JV, the three companies can have a stable supply of battery raw materials in North America," said SK On Chief Commercial Officer Min-suk Sung. "We will continue to work with our partners to lead electrification of the global auto market."

Further, this is perhaps the Ford's first investment in Québec. "Ford has been serving customers in Canada for 119 years, longer than any other automaker, and we're excited to invest in this new facility to create a vertically integrated, closed-loop battery manufacturing supply chain in North America designed to help make electric vehicles more accessible for millions of people over time," said Bev Goodman, president and CEO, Ford of Canada.

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