The Government of Canada invests more than $100mn to support steel workers
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, has officially announced a CAN$40mn investment in a $112.6mn project which will create 35 jobs and maintain more than 2,100 more in Regina, Saskatchewan, and Red Deer, Alberta.
The Government of Canada has expressed its desire to stand with hard-working steel and aluminium workers, their families and their communities, and will deliver on its commitment to support the steel manufacturing sector and its workers. In 2017, the Canadian steel industry employed more than 23,000 Canadians and contributed $4.2bn to Canada's gross domestic product, becoming a vital supplier to the country’s manufacturing, energy, automotive and construction industries.
The multimillion dollar investment will help western Canada’s largest steel business, EVRAZ North America Inc. to make numerous upgrades to its facilities and increase its competitiveness in serving the oil country tubular goods (OCTG) market while decreasing emissions and the overall carbon footprint of Canadian steel. This will enable the company to produce valued-added OCTG products that match Canadian market demand and make them available at a competitive price to Canadian resource firms that, like EVRAZ, are facing shortages owing to the cost-prohibitive effects of U.S. tariffs.
The government's investments in Canada's world-class steel and aluminium producers, such as EVRAZ, Algoma Steel Inc., ArcelorMittal, Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminum, are ensuring they continue to provide thousands of Canadians with good middle-class jobs and remain important contributors to our economy and manufacturing supply chains.
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"Our investment in EVRAZ will help strengthen the competitiveness of Regina's steel plant for years to come, maintain Canada's position in the global market and support middle-class jobs for Canadians,” stated The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
"Canadian steel producers and workers form the economic backbone of communities across our country. In the face of unfair and unjust US tariffs, our government is keeping its promise to support Canada's steel producers and their thousands of workers. This investment will support 2,100 jobs at EVRAZ and help it upgrade its facilities to become more competitive and expand its market reach,” added The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
The investment is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a programme designed to attract and support high-quality business investments. The fund will accelerate research and development opportunities, where innovative technologies wil lead to the commercialisation of innovative products, processes, and services. It will also work to facilitate the growth and expansion of Canadian firms, attract large scale investments and enable the advancement in industrial research, development and technology.
Through the fund, a Fall Economic Statement has proposed to provide an additional $800mn over five years to the Strategic Innovation Fund to support innovation across all economic sectors in Canada. The programme is part of The the Innovation and Skills Plan which will work to boost the skillset of workers, enable the development of new and existing talent and provide further support to the Canadian workforce.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.