The multibillion dollar gigafactory is a significant move for the Swedish battery developer and manufacturer, and will advance sustainable lithium-ion battery production to accelerate sustainable EV output for the North American region with government support.
Northvolt has unveiled plans to establish Northvolt Six, an innovative, multibillion dollar lithium-ion battery gigafactory located in Saint-Basile-le-Grand and McMasterville, suburbs of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. This milestone project marks Northvolt’s first foray into manufacturing outside of Europe and represents a significant stride in sustainable battery production.
The gigafactory will boast an annual cell production capacity of 60 GWh and will integrate cathode active material manufacturing, battery production and recycling facilities, enabling a closed-loop, circular production process.
Battery production roadmap: Aiming for 30 GWh cell production
The first phase of construction, which will account for 30 GWh of cell production capacity, is set to commence by the end of 2023, with initial battery deliveries expected in 2026.
This initial phase, encompassing cathode manufacturing, cell assembly and recycling, will require a substantial investment of $5bn and will provide employment opportunities for up to 3,000 individuals, according to an official report.
The project is being undertaken with financial backing from the governments of Canada and Quebec - the latter being a secondary jurisdiction of Canada - and representing the largest private investment in Quebec’s history.
Peter Carlsson, CEO and co-founder of Northvolt, expressed his thoughts on the project, saying: “Since we founded Northvolt seven years ago, we have pursued one goal: to establish a new sustainable model for battery manufacturing. Today, we are expanding Northvolt’s ambitions in Canada.”
Northvolt Six’s Canadian raison d’etre
The selection of the sprawling 170-hectare site for Northvolt Six in McMasterville and Saint-Basile-le-Grand followed an exhaustive evaluation of potential locations in the North American region.
“The potential for Northvolt Six is enormous, not only to rapidly develop our capacity to deliver sustainable batteries to the North American market, but also to accelerate the emergence of Quebec as a key player in the global energy transition.”
This site, which is host to Quebec’s ample hydroelectricity resources, optimally aligns with Northvolt’s commitment to sustainable battery production and guarantees 100% renewable energy for cell production, according to the company. The region is strategically positioned within the North American automotive industry’s value chain.
Paolo Cerruti, co-founder of Northvolt, will spearhead the project as the CEO of Northvolt in North America, with headquarters in Montreal. Cerruti emphasised the promise of the plant, stating: “The potential for Northvolt Six is enormous, not only to rapidly develop our capacity to deliver sustainable batteries to the North American market, but also to accelerate the emergence of Quebec as a key player in the global energy transition.
“With its unique access to 100% renewable energy and raw materials, we consider Quebec to be the ideal base of operations for Northvolt’s first gigafactory outside of Europe. We look forward to collaborating with all local stakeholders and the province, to make Northvolt Six an example of sustainable investment.”
Northvolt’s choice of Quebec, Canada, for its first extra-European gigafactory represents an important step forward in the global ramp up towards sustainable battery production. With the full support of Canadian and Quebec governments, the development not only reinforces Northvolt’s global presence but also positions Quebec as an important player in the EV-oriented and renewable energy and battery manufacturing landscape.