Quebec’s Push to Become a Major Battery-Making Hub Expands with Caisse Investment

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is making a significant investment of $200 million in a Swedish electric-vehicle battery maker, bolstering Quebec’s position as a burgeoning battery-making hub. The investment by the Caisse, a public pension plan, aligns with the province’s strategy to become a key player in the growing electric vehicle (EV) industry.

The battery maker, Northvolt, is set to begin construction on a new manufacturing plant in the greater Montreal area, with an estimated cost of $7 billion. The facility, located in Saint-Basile-le-Grand and McMasterville, will have an annual production capacity of up to 60 gigawatt hours, focusing on cathode active material, cells, and recycled materials.

Quebec’s push to attract battery manufacturers has been successful, with Northvolt selecting the province over other North American options. The company has also secured deals with major automakers such as Volkswagen, BMW, Scania AB, Volvo Cars, and Polestar.

The Caisse’s investment demonstrates its interest in the expanding battery industry, which is expected to grow rapidly due to the global transition toward lower-carbon energy. Kim Thomassin, the executive vice-president and head of Québec at the Caisse, emphasizes the strategic importance of the sector in achieving sustainable energy goals.

The Quebec government, led by Premier François Legault, has been actively pursuing agreements in the battery industry. With the goal of reaching $30 billion in projects, Quebec has already secured partnerships with major players. General Motors Co. is partnering with Posco Chemical Co. Ltd. for a cathode factory, while Ford Motor Co. is collaborating with EcoProBM and SK On Co. Ltd. for an EV battery materials plant.

This investment by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec further solidifies Quebec’s position as a major player in the EV battery manufacturing sector. With strong government support, favorable investment climate, and partnerships with industry leaders, Quebec is well on its way to becoming a prominent hub for battery production.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is Quebec focusing on the battery industry?

Quebec is focusing on the battery industry to capitalize on the growing global demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and the need for sustainable energy solutions. By attracting investments and establishing partnerships with battery manufacturers, Quebec aims to become a major player in the EV battery manufacturing sector.

2. What is the significance of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’s investment in Northvolt?

The Caisse’s investment of $200 million in Northvolt reinforces Quebec’s position as a key hub for battery production. It demonstrates the confidence of a major public pension plan in the potential of the battery industry and highlights Quebec’s attractiveness for international investments.

3. Which other Canadian pension plans have invested in Northvolt?

Other Canadian pension plans that have made sizable investments in Northvolt include the Investment Management Corp. of Ontario, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. These investments further validate Northvolt’s position as a leading player in the battery manufacturing industry.