Ford Motor Company (F-N) and South Korean battery companies SK On and EcoProBM will build a $1.2-billion cathode manufacturing facility in Bécancour, Que. that will supply Ford with battery materials for its electric vehicles (EVs).
Production is expected to begin in the first half of 2026 with an expected production capacity of up to 45,000 tonnes of cathode active materials per year that can support production of up to 225,000 EVs annually.
Approximately 345 jobs will be created in a region which is set to reap huge benefits from the growing EV industry.
Bécancour has become a nexus for EV battery-related projects. It attracted industry heavyweights like General Motors and POSCO Future M for a $600-million cathode-active materials factory that received $300 million in federal and provincial funding; and German chemicals producer BASF for a cathode active material and battery metals recycling plant.
There have also been talks between Electra Battery Materials and the provincial government to establish a cobalt refining facility in the area. Cobalt is another of the key materials required for EV batteries and components.
A release says construction has already begun on the 280,000-square-metre Ford/SK On/EcoProBM site. The facility will include a six-floor building to host engineers, sales and service professionals and co-op students from local Québec universities and colleges.
Governments provide $644M in funding
EcoPro CAM Canada LP, a subsidiary of EcoProBM founded in February, will oversee daily operations to manufacture cathode active materials made from nickel cobalt manganese.
The products will be used for rechargeable batteries targeting greater performance and improved EV range, according to a release.
The federal government and Québec government are investing $644 million into the facility. The funding will be split evenly between the two governments at $322 million each.
The money will be provided through the federal government’s Strategic Innovation Fund as a conditional contribution, while Investissement Québec will provide a partially forgivable loan.
In a separate announcement, SNC-Lavalin (SNC-T) said it was awarded a $141-million initial works contract and will offer EcoProBM the initial concept design, basic design, project management and delivery services through its Engineering Services group.
SNC-Lavalin says it is its first major mandate in the EV battery market in Canada.
SK On and Ford will be investors in EcoPro CAM Canada once the deal is closed.
The Bécancour site is part of Ford’s plan to localize key battery raw material processing in regions where it produces EVs. It will be the company's first Québec investment.
Bev Goodman, president and CEO of Ford Canada, said, “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.”
About SK On and EcoProBM
SK On is the EV battery subsidiary of SK Group, a South Korean conglomerate. It currently operates two battery plants in North America with plans to build four more. SK On expects to reach an annual production capacity of more than 180 gigawatt-hours in North America after 2025 – enough to power about 1.7 million EVs per year.
EcoProBM, a spin-off of its parent company EcoPro, entered North America with the investment, marking its second global expansion after Hungary.
“By expanding here in North America, EcoProBM looks forward to globalizing our growth in cathode materials, which has been a unique strength of our company,” Jae-hwan Joo, EcoProBM’s CEO, said in the release.
EcoProBM Canada is reported to have been attracted to Bécancour due to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act’s EV tax credit which favours parts made in North America, as well as its proximity to U.S. logistics and battery materials such as nickel.