Canada outranks China as the best place in the world to build a supply chain for lithium ion batteries, according to a ranking released last Tuesday by strategic research firm BloombergNEF. Players in the Quebec battery industry welcome this recognition as a victory.
“This ranking is a world reference, which is watched both by young people [dans l’industrie du] sustainable development, financiers and many other audiences. This shows that the investment climate in the battery sector is very good in Canada, and it confirms our competitive advantages,” underlined Yan Cimon, professor at the Faculty of Administrative Sciences at Laval University and outgoing director of the Interuniversity Research Center on Business Networks, Logistics and Transport.
BloombergNEF analysts rated 30 countries based on safety potential, reliability and sustainability in the industry. For the first time in the four years of this annual ranking, it is not China which is at the top. The Asian giant has a more established supply chain, but it loses points to Canada when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, which are increasingly important to investors in this market .
“Our work to build the most local and greenest value chain possible certainly has its weight,” underlines Michelle Llambias-Meunier, CEO of Propulsion Québec, the electric and intelligent transportation cluster. “We aim to have an economy that is more circular, with practices that are more responsible. »
The integration of the Canadian industry with the American automobile sector and the proximity of this immense market have worked in its favor. The United States also comes in third place in this list. Germany, Finland and South Korea follow.
BloombergNEF also highlights Canada’s progress in manufacturing production. The report also highlights the presence of mineral resources and announced investments by heavyweights, such as Volkswagen, Ford, Stellantis and Northvolt in Ontario and Quebec.
Government commitment underlined
The development of this sector is propelled by the commitment of the federal and provincial governments, particularly financial, analysts do not fail to emphasize. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada, François-Philippe Champagne, also broadcast the BloombergNEF ranking on the social network tweet of the day “.
“It is recognition of the efforts made by Quebec over the last four or five years to position itself as the North American, and even global, destination for building the battery sector,” rejoiced Hubert Bolduc, president of ‘Investissement Québec international.
Donald Olivier, CEO of the Bécancour Industrial and Port Park Company, reports that projects are quickly taking shape in his neck of the woods. “If you had come to the site on this date last year, the first cubic meters of concrete were being poured. Right now, you might see some big buildings where they’re starting to install equipment,” he said.
The latter believes that such a ranking within a list like that of BloombergNEF brings renewed credibility and excitement, which are likely to attract new investors within the sector. It is important to continue to develop new projects, believe all the stakeholders consulted for this article. Indeed, Canada’s enviable position is not immutable, they point out. Furthermore, certain links are still missing, particularly in the processing of metals, which, even if they are extracted here, must leave the country to be processed.
“Eyes are on us, and we have an obligation to achieve results. It puts positive pressure on us,” says Mr. Bolduc.
Global investments in the transport energy transition reached a record level of 135 billion US dollars over the past year, BloombergNEF recalls.