Canadian battery materials specialist Nano One [TSX:NANO] has kicked off the new year with the integration of its recently acquired Candiac plant in Montreal into Nano One’s in-house production process. The plant, which produces lithium iron phosphate (LFP), the material used in electric vehicle batteries and for energy storage, is getting ready to start trial production using Nano-One’s low cost and environmentally friendly One Pot technology this month.
Access to locally produced battery materials will be especially crucial for large scale electric vehicle producers not only in terms of an easier supply chain but also because of access to considerable tax breaks. It aligns well with the US Inflation Reduction Act introduced last year and with Canada’s Mines to Mobility initiative which supports building sustainable battery production in Canada.
Initial preparations completed
Nano One said this week that initial plant preparations are complete, including process hazard studies for the use of the existing commercial scale reactors for larger scale trials with production starting this quarter. Results from this work will provide valuable insights for the next stage of trials, pilot production and advanced engineering. Large One-Pot reactors have been designed and ordered, with installation, integration, and commissioning for industrial scale pilot production of LFP expected in the third quarter.
The integration of the Candiac plant, an 80,000 square foot facility located 20km away from Montreal, follows on the completion of Nano One’s acquisition of Johnson Matthey Battery Materials last year.
The trials production builds on existing development work and supports evaluation and validation work with potential customers.
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During the One-Pot process some of the equipment which has been in use at Candiac so far will no longer be needed. Local teams are busy decommissioning and removing this equipment while new equipment is being purchased. The company has already received all the raw materials ordered for the first trials and will use small amounts for training purposes before moving on to larger scale production.
The most experienced LFP workforce in North America
Nano One has decided to keep all of its staff, saying that it now has the most experienced LFP workforce in North America. Denis Geoffroy, Nano One’s newly appointed chief commercialisation officer and a battery materials veteran, explained: “The team at Candiac has tremendous experience in LFP, having developed two different processes, built the first and only LFP plant in North America and operated it for 10 years.”
The company has been working closely with the Business Development Bank of Canada on the integration process and has met all its integration targets in the first three months on-time and on-budget.
The Candiac facility and team in Montreal will be a base for the expansion and acceleration of Nano One’s commercialisation strategy and will complement Nano One’s technology innovation hub and team in Burnaby, British Columbia.