On the 16thof October, Umicore and battery manufacturer AESC, announced the signing of a long-term supply agreement for AESC’s US manufacturing operations. Umicore will supply AESC’s US operations with critical materials for EV battery manufacturing. The supply agreement will last for 10 years, starting in 2026 and ending 2035. On the same day Umicore also announced plans to build a battery materials plant in Ontario, Canada.

Umicore Expanding its Footprint

The announced Ontario facility will combine precursor (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM) production. Construction is expected to begin later this year, contingent to permitting, with commissioning anticipated by the end of 2025. Production will then increase from 2026 to coincide with the AESC agreement. Once complete, the plant will produce material equivalent to 35GWh of batteries to serve the North American EV market. The facility will be equipped to produce high-nickel technologies and be prepared for future chemistries, including manganese-rich and solid-state batteries.

This announcement is of vital importance to the North American EV supply chain and battery ecosystem. As a result, Umicore will receive substantial financial support from the Canadian and Ontario governments. This will come in the form of EUR580 million (USD612 million) non-refundable capital expense grants.

A Strategic Agreement

Under the partnership, Umicore will supply AESC with high nickel (nickel content 90% or more) CAM. It includes an annual volume offtake equivalent to 50GWh of CAM by 2030. Initially Umicore will supply this from its factory in Cheonan, Korea. This will be supplemented with materials from Umicore’s recently announced Ontario plant.

The partnership will enhance AESC’s next-generation battery technologies and strengthen its commitment to the US market. It will also diversify AESC’s global supply chain with additional regional resources to help meet the evolving needs of its customers, such as the BMW Group. AESC’s batteries with Umicore’s battery materials will power the sixth generation of the BMW eDrive technology. By 2026, AESC’s U.S. plants are expected to provide up to 70GWh in capacity annually. It currently has plants located in Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

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Sources: Umicore News Room