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Swedish lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt picks Quebec for its new gigafactory

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(Kitco News) - Swedish lithium-ion battery manufacturer Northvolt today announced that it will establish a fully integrated lithium-ion battery gigafactory near Montreal, Quebec.

According to Northvolt, the factory, named Northvolt Six, will host 60 GWh of annual cell manufacturing capacity, with adjacent facilities for cathode active material production and battery recycling, enabling fully circular production at site.

Construction of the first 30 GWh phase of the project, established to bring sustainable batteries to North America, is due to commence before the end of 2023 and the first operations are set to begin in 2026.

The company said that this “initial phase” of cathode and cell manufacturing, coupled with recycling, is expected to require a total investment of 5 billion USD (7 billion CAD) and employ up to 3,000 people.

“It is developed with strong support from the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec and will represent the largest private investment in Quebec's history,” Northvolt said in a press release.

CEO and Co-Founder Peter Carlsson commented, “In the seven years since Northvolt was founded, we have pursued a singular goal – to establish a new, sustainable model for battery manufacturing. Today, we are expanding our ambitions by bringing Northvolt to Canada.”

The company said that the selection of the 170-hectare site for Northvolt Six in McMasterville and Saint-Basile-le-Grand just outside the city of Montréal was made after an “extensive review” of locations in North America.

“The site fulfils a multitude of criteria that are necessary to ensure that the company will be able to meet its commitment to sustainable battery production. Quebec hydroelectricity guarantees cell production from 100 percent renewable energy and the region represents an ideal location in the North American automotive value chain,” it added.

Northvolt was established in 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. Pioneering a sustainable model for battery manufacturing, the company has received $55 billion in orders from key customers, including BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volkswagen Group. The company is currently delivering batteries from its first gigafactory Northvolt Ett, in Skellefteå, Sweden and from its R&D and industrialization campus Northvolt Labs, in Västerås, Sweden.

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