OTTAWA, June 14 (Reuters) – Canada, which has been renegotiating its support for a Stellantis-LGES (STLAM.MI), (373220.KS) electric vehicle battery plant, is confident that the investment is good for the country and “is coming,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday, hinting that a new deal may have been reached.
“We’re very confident in the value of the Stellantis investment which is coming,” Freeland told reporters in Ottawa, without elaborating.
Stellantis last month stopped construction at a C$5 billion ($3.8 billion) electric-vehicle battery plant in Ontario, which is being built in partnership with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (LGES), saying Canada had not fulfilled promises.
The battery plant investment, which included contributions by the Canada and Ontario governments, was announced in March 2022. But tensions emerged when the United States in August passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a massive package of clean-tech incentives for companies.
Since construction was halted in May, the Ontario government has offered to increase financial support for the project and Canada’s industry minister has said progress is being made to restart work at the plant.
Canada, home to a large mining sector for minerals including lithium, nickel and cobalt, is trying to woo companies involved at all levels of the EV supply chain as the world seeks to cut carbon emissions.
The Stellantis-LGES battery facility is expected to produce over 45 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery capacity annually and create an estimated 2,500 new jobs in the Windsor area in Ontario.
($1 = 1.3289 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Steve Scherer and Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; editing by Diane Craft, Kirsten Donovan
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