Volkswagen Group-owned battery company PowerCo SE has announced that the site of its future cell gigfactory in St. Thomas, Ontario, is now prepared for groundbreaking.

Start of construction will begin in 2024.

It is the firm’s first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing and will equip Volkswagen Group BEVs in the North American region.

Sebastian Wolf, Chief Operations Officer of PowerCo SE, said: “We are fully on track. Site preparation, the first phase of Gigafactory St. Thomas, has been completed.”

St. Thomas will also be the largest PowerCo gigafactory to date, with an annual production capacity of up to 90 GWh in the final expansion phase.

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By GlobalData

The planned investment of up to €4.8 billion (CAD$ 7 billion) by 2030 has the potential to create up to 3,000 jobs at the factory.

Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, said: “When completed, this gigafactory will represent a significant milestone in the end-to-end auto and EV battery supply chain growing across the province.”

The cell factory, which has a projected start of production in 2027 is part of a larger plan that Volkswagen and PowerCo agreed upon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in August 2022.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed at the time focusses on battery value creation and raw material security to help promote e-mobility in the country.

The cell factory is being built over an area of around 370 acres (150 hectares). The entire industrial and supplier park amounts to 1,500 acres (600 hectares).