South Korean copper foil producer Solus Advanced Materials this week broke ground for a new copper foil plant in Canada’s Quebec province as the company continues to strengthen its position in the global electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain.

Copper foil is a core material used in battery anodes.

The new plant, which will be managed by the Volta Energy Solutions subsidiary, will be the company’s first copper foil plant in North America. The facility is scheduled to be operating in 2026 with capacity for 63,000 tons of foil, enough for 2.5m EV battery packs. Production in the first year was expected to reach 25,000 tons.

The company said it would invest CAD750m (US$550m) directly into the project, with a further CAD150m to be provided by the Canadian government in the form of soft loans.

Solus already supplies copper foil to US EV maker Tesla and also to LG Energy Solution, South Korea’s largest EV battery manufacturer which is also expanding rapidly in North America. SK Nexilis is another key South Korean copper foil manufacturer operating in the region.

Solus chairman Chin Dae-je said at the ground-braking event: “Quebec is an ideal location for Volta Energy Solutions’ first North American plant with its geographic location providing privileged access to the North American market and its strong commitment to making electric vehicle battery production a key sector of the economy”.

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By GlobalData

At the event Solus also announced it had expanded a four year supply contract signed last year with Automotive Cells Company (ACC), a France based battery cell partnership between Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and Total Energies, by 53% to help meet rising demand. Solus has now agreed to supply (KRW300bn) US$225m worth of copper foil from its facilities in Hungary to the joint venture between 2024 and 2028.