Port Colborne to get new electric vehicle battery plant

May 14, 2024 | GTA/Local News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford were joined by the mayor of Port Colborne, ministers, Asahi Kasei Corporation leaders and the Japanese ambassador to announce a new EV battery plant in Port Colborne, Ont.

At the Tuesday press conference, it was announced that Japanese company Asahi Kasei Corporation will invest more than $1.6 billion in an integrated lithium-ion battery separator plant in Port Colborne, Ont.

Canada, over the past number of years, has strategically and deliberately built itself up as one of the number one places in the world to invest in an EV supply chain, the prime minister said.

The company’s website said its operations in Canada will be managed by a subsidiary company, Asahi Kasei Battery Separator Corp, which will be established in October of this year.

The prime minister’s office said the new plant will produce Hipore™ battery separators, an essential component of the lithium-ion batteries used in EVs which makes batteries more sustainable and durable.

Construction of the facility will be completed by the end of 2024 and the plant is expected to be commercially operational in 2027, according to the prime minister’s press readout.

“Separators are essential components of electric vehicles and this plant will be the first large-scale separator plant in the country, making our EV supply chain even stronger here in Canada,” Trudeau said.

“We have a plan to meet this moment, a plan to secure the future for our families, to breathe life into our main streets and to position Canada as the most reliable supplier in a net zero world,” Trudeau said.

Doug Ford said Ontario is a world leader in the electric vehicle revolution and that the province is building an end to end electric vehicle supply chain.

“Your $1.6 billion investment, along with your plan, multi-billion dollar investment for future phases is going to boost job creation across our mining, auto and manufacturing sectors is going to strengthen our homegrown electric vehicle supply chain and help ensure that all the components needed for the cars of the future are made in Ontario,” Ford said.

Mayor of Port Colborne, William Steele, said the battery plant is a transformational project and is Port Colborne’s biggest project to date.

The mayor said the previously largest industrial project in the city was in 1914 when the International Nickel Company built a factory in 1914 which employed 3,000 workers.

“So this is on that scale. It’s actually quite larger than that scale, but you know, it’s been that long since we’ve had an investment in Port Colborne like this,” Steele said.

Trudeau said his government’s choices and investments have led to Canada’s being ranked by Bloomberg as the country with the most potential to build a secure, reliable and sustainable lithium-ion battery supply chain.

“And that didn’t happen by accident,” said Trudeau. “It was deliberate choices by Canadian government and partners like the government of Ontario to draw in investments in a growing sector where great manufacturing jobs will be available for communities like here in Port Colborne and right across the country.”