The battery industry is rooted in Montérégie. In addition to the billionaire project envisaged by Northvolt, the recycling specialist Lithion Technologies is setting up in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville – arrivals which confirm the role of the South Shore in the ecosystem, hitherto concentrated in Bécancour, in Centre-du-Québec.
Without fanfare, the Quebec startup formerly known as Recyclage Lithion expects its new plant to start up in the fall. The company will occupy 45,000 square feet (4,180 square meters) of a new 230,000 square foot (21,370 square meters) building located at 1000 Parent Street, off Highway 30.
“This is great news for Saint-Bruno,” Mayor Ludovic Grisé Farand told La Presse. This once again demonstrates the attractiveness of our industrial park. It’s been several big catches in the last year [with the announcement of the arrival of Colabor’s head office]. »
The building that will house Lithion – whose demonstration plant is located in the Montreal borough of Anjou – is being built by Malex Immobilier. It will be able to receive more than 15,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries annually, which are found in electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, a capacity equivalent to 45,000 cars. In this building, leases are signed at a net rent of around $18 per square foot, says Paul-Éric Poitras, managing partner at NAI Terramont Commercial and responsible for leasing at 1000 Parent Street.
Founded in 2018, the recycling specialist claims that its technological process makes it possible to recover up to 95% of battery components which can then be reused by manufacturers.
In Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, the plant will be used to extract a chemical concentrate of black powder from battery materials. Lithion is also counting on another future project, a hydrometallurgy plant. This complex, estimated at 300 million dollars, must refine black powder in order to extract the graphite, nickel, lithium and manganese found in batteries.
Meanwhile, Northvolt, Quebec and Ottawa seem to be getting closer to an agreement that would allow the Swedish company to set up on the grounds of the former CIL (Canadian Industries Limited) factory, on the edge of McMasterville. and Saint-Basile-le-Grand.
If it materializes, this huge complex would lead to the creation of more than 4,000 jobs, according to information obtained by La Presse. The financial news agency Bloomberg, for its part, suggests that the bill for the project could reach 7 billion US. It would build cathodes – the positive pole of the lithium-ion battery of an electric vehicle – battery cells, in addition to carrying out recycling.
Everything indicates that Northvolt, which counts BMW, Volvo and Volkswagen among its customers, will obtain billions in financial support from the Legault and Trudeau governments.
A memo written for Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland by federal officials obtained by La Presse revealed that Northvolt estimated it could raise up to $9 billion in the United States under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). ), this American law endowed with an envelope of 370 billion US in subsidies and tax credits to support in particular the construction of electric vehicles.
“Northvolt has indicated that it expects to obtain [similar] compensation if the facility is established in Canada,” reads the document prepared last February.
In the battery industry, cell manufacturing is the last step before assembling a lithium-ion battery found in electric vehicles. This is the missing link in the ecosystem that the Legault government wants to put in place.
On the South Shore of Montreal, Lithion and Northvolt would join Nano One, which announced the takeover, in May 2022, of the cathode materials plant formerly operated by Johnson Matthey in Candiac.