Ford cathode plant in Bécancour | Stalled for a month, the project is restarting

Ford cathode plant in Bécancour | Stalled for a month, the project is restarting
Ford cathode plant in Bécancour | Stalled for a month, the project is restarting

After a break of about a month, the cathode factory site of Ford and its partners in Bécancour is restarting. Back at work, workers must arrange the floor, structures and walls of three buildings by November, according to our information.


Posted at 12:46 p.m.

The Minister of Economy, Energy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, confirmed, Wednesday afternoon, the information obtained earlier by The Press.

“The batteries are recharged,” he wrote, on the social network X. The Ford EcoPro site has returned to Bécancour. Good news for the region and for this entire strategic sector. »

Last April, the promoters of the 1.2 billion project – financed to the tune of 640 million by Quebec and Ottawa – caused astonishment by interrupting the construction site, after the erection of several floors, while Ford and the south- Korean companies EcoPro BM and SK On are faced with financial challenges.

Read “Partners weighed down by financial challenges”

According to our information, a subsidiary of Canam Group, a Quebec specialist in the design and manufacturing of metal components for the construction industry, has replaced AtkinsRéalis (formerly known as SNC-Lavalin) as prime contractor for the construction site.

In an article from The Press On April 30, the Legault government explained that the promoters attributed their decision to suspend the construction site to an analysis of “the best technological option” to deploy, without offering more details.

Essentially, partners must choose the right chemical process to use to manufacture the cathode materials. They must also determine the best mechanical arrangement, that is, how to organize the equipment inside according to the product processing sequence.

In the wake of the ruling, the partners reiterated, through a statement sent by the public relations firm National, their desire to continue construction of the factory.

“The three joint venture partners are actively engaged in discussions aimed at optimizing operations,” it was stated.

At the time of writing, it was not possible to know whether Ford, EcoPro BM and SK On had resolved these issues. One thing is certain, the three companies have agreed to, at the very least, complete the construction work on the buildings. Beams still need to be installed and walls need to be erected, among other things.

Furthermore, almost nine months after the announcement with great fanfare of this billionaire project in Bécancour, the three promoters have still not sealed the joint venture that binds them, according to information available in the company register. As of Wednesday, EcoPro BM remained the sole indirect sponsor of the EcoPro CAM Canada limited partnership.

In August 2023, however, the promoters indicated that Ford and SK On would become the sponsor of the entity after finalizing negotiations. Despite the start of work in Bécancour, Ford and SK On continued to be delayed.

Led by General Motors (GM) and POSCO, the other cathode factory project under construction in Bécancour is not in this situation. These two companies are shareholders in Ultium Cam, the entity created to operate the complex.

Learn more

  • 2026
    Planned commissioning of the complex at the time of the project announcement, in August 2023.

    ecoprobm

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