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Canadian minister's confidence level is 10/10 on Northvolt battery plant moving forward

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Quebec Premier Francois Legault, centre, hold a prismatic cell as they pose with from left to right, co-founder and CEO, Northvolt North America Paulo Cerruti, Quebec Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne and co-founder, CEO, Northvolt Peter Carlsson, following an announcement that Northvolt Batteries North America will build a new electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant near Montreal, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. (Christinne Muschi, The Canadian Press) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Quebec Premier Francois Legault, centre, hold a prismatic cell as they pose with from left to right, co-founder and CEO, Northvolt North America Paulo Cerruti, Quebec Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne and co-founder, CEO, Northvolt Peter Carlsson, following an announcement that Northvolt Batteries North America will build a new electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant near Montreal, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. (Christinne Muschi, The Canadian Press)
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Federal Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne is not worried about the possible changes to the timetable for the Norhtvolt battery plant project in the Montérégie region south of Montreal.

He was in Montreal on Thursday and said that on a scale of 1 to 10, Champagne's confidence level is "10 that the plant will go ahead."

This was the minister's response during an announcement concerning the commercialisation of semiconductors.

"But if you ask me about the timetable, could it be a few months? Perhaps, but that's normal in disruptive technologies," the minister said. "I don't know exactly how long it could take. I'm speaking in the conditional tense because no decision has yet been made on the basis of the information I have."

Northvolt continues construction "as planned"

On Tuesday, Northvolt's director of communications for North America, Laurent Therrien, indicated that the company was continuing construction of its South Shore plant "as planned" at this time.

In a written statement, he provided an update following comments by the company's President and CEO, Peter Carlsson, who announced that Northvolt would be slowing down its international development plan in order to concentrate on its factory in Sweden.

The company is behind schedule in the construction of its mega-plant in the Scandinavian country.

Therrien assured the audience that Northvolt still wanted to "play a central role in the energy transition by manufacturing the world's greenest batteries here."

The mega-plant project on Montreal's South Shore, straddling Saint-Basile-le-Grand and McMasterville, is expected to cost $7 billion.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published in French on July 4, 2024.

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