Canada's battery supply chain is 'global leader'

China loses top spot in BNEF report for the first time

Canada's battery supply chain is 'global leader'
Northvolt's Quebec gigafactory is one of a number of battery projects announced in Canada

Canada has overtaken China as home to the world's most "secure, reliable, and sustainable" lithium-ion battery supply chain, according to new research from consultancy Bloomberg NEF (BNEF).

This marks the first time China has not claimed the number one position in BNEF's rankings.

BNEF's 'Global Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain Ranking' evaluates 46 different metrics across five categories: raw materials, battery manufacturing, downstream demand, ESG considerations and industry, infrastructure and innovation.

Canada’s 'consistent' manufacturing and production advances helped it claim the top spot, according to BNEF.

"Strong integration with the US automotive sector means Canada is also a big winner of the ‘friendshoring’ ambitions of the Inflation Reduction Act. The country’s position in BNEF’s ranking is propelled by policy commitment at both the provincial and federal level," says the BNEF report.

Canada is touting itself as the only Western Hemisphere country with domestic supply of all the raw materials required for EV batteries, and has seen a host of gigafactory and processing plant announcements, from both North American and overseas firms, over the last year.

Belgian battery materials company Umicore will build a 35GWh equivalent battery material facility in Ontario, with construction set to begin later this year and the first production in 2026. And European battery firm Northvolt is building a 60GWh/yr gigafactory just outside of Montreal, Quebec.

Firms planting their flag in the Canadian supply chain are looking to gain leverage from their proximity to Canada's rich battery metal reserves as well as Michigan's automotive manufacturing sector across the US border.

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Global investment

Global investment in the clean energy supply chain, including equipment factories and battery metals production, hit a new record of $135bn this year, according to BNEF.

Whether that level of investment continues will depend on various economic and geopolitical factors, according to BNEF.

"Trade relations will be an interesting factor to monitor in 2024, as foreign policy efforts in the US and EU continue to make it difficult for international companies to operate in major markets like China,” says Kwasi Ampofo, BNEF's head of metals and mining.

The US came third in the rankings after Canada and China, followed by Germany and Finland. South Korea, which has long claimed world-leading expertise in NMC lithium-ion battery chemistry, dropped out of the top five.

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