battery sector | Solus asks for public help

The South Korean joins other companies that have already turned to Quebec and Ottawa

Posted at 8:00 am

Julian Arsenal

Julian Arsenal
The press

After Solus Advanced Materials, which wants to bloat the ranks of the battery industry, spent $81 million to acquire Circuit Foil Luxembourg’s former Granby factory, Quebec and Ottawa are asking for funding for its multi-hundred-million-dollar project.

Volta Canada Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of the South Korean company, has just enlisted the services of seven KPMG lobbyists to make moves with Investissement Québec — the Québec government’s financial arm — and Innovation, Sciences et Canada Economic Development.

The sums requested by the two levels of government were not specified.

“This funding could take the form of a grant or other forms as appropriate,” according to entries released this week in the Quebec Lobbyists Registry.

The Solus project — one of Tesla’s suppliers — would fill a hole in Quebec’s battery industry by producing copper foil. These go into the production of the anode, the negative pole of the lithium-ion battery in electric cars.

It was not possible to obtain comments from the multinational company.

Last March, the Minister for Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, estimated the investment at between 200 and 300 million. The project, if successful, would represent the largest investment to date in the battery sector outside of Bécancour – Quebec’s preferred location for developing the sector.

So far, the Legault government has agreed to provide financial backing to players like BASF and Posco to persuade them to settle in the province. In both cases, the total amount of financial support was not precisely determined.

“serious” project

Solus has owned the rue du Luxembourg facility since March 31, according to the purchase agreement seen by The press. The floor area of ​​the building is 90,000 square meters. Its former owner, Richard Normandin, told The press that the organizers are “serious”.

“They want to quadruple the area of ​​the building,” he said in a phone interview. It’s a very big project in Granby. At the price paid, they are serious. »

According to our information, the Solus project is the subject of a study for connection to the Hydro-Québec network. The company shouldn’t have any trouble sourcing the necessary power since the requested block is less than 50 megawatts.

Construction is scheduled to begin around July. Solus aims to start production in the second half of 2024.

Operations ceased at Circuit Foil Luxembourg in 2005. Very limited activity continued until 2014. The state of Quebec had invested 104 million in this project between 1999 and 2003. The plant produced copper sheets for the printed circuit board market.

With the collaboration of André Dubuc, The press

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    After Posco (Bécancour) and LG (Windsor), Solus is the third South Korean company to have established itself in the battery sector in Canada since the beginning of the year.


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