STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Swedish lithium-ion battery producer Northvolt announced this week that it would build a $5.2 billion gigafactory in the Canadian province of Quebec.
Officials confirmed this would be the largest-ever investment in the province.
To be located outside Montreal, construction of the Northvolt Six factory will begin this year. Plans call for the factory to begin operating in 2026.
It was further announced that Northvolt will contribute $3.2 billion of the total cost, along with $1 billion from local and federal governments, according to Northvolt Co-Founder Paolo Cerruti, as reported by Reuters.
Besides the Canadian factory, Northvolt currently operates several European battery factories.
Strategically, Northvolt is participating in western efforts to build a domestic battery industry to counter Asian manufacturers.
"We looked at 70 different sites at the beginning of this process," Cerruti said. "We were also looking at the United States, but eventually Canada made it for the first factory," he added, as quoted by Reuters.
Among the reasons the Canadian site was chosen, according to Cerruti, is the availability of sustainable energy, the ability to employ skilled workers, the availability of natural resources and the cooperation of local and federal Canadian governments.
Northvolt reportedly has more than $55 billion in contracts with predominantly European auto manufacturers, including BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo.
While not disclosing which American auto manufacturer company has agreed to work with Cerruti, he noted, "This size of investment and project can not happen if you don't have an anchor customer."