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Ontario to offer more money for Stellantis to resume battery plant

By Sam Jabri-Pickett

TORONTO (Reuters) -Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Friday that his government will put more money on the table to help carmaker Stellantis resume its battery plant in Canada.

Stellantis on Monday stopped construction at a C$5 billion ($3.7 billion) electric-vehicle battery plant in Canada, which is being built in partnership with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (LGES), saying Canada has not fulfilled the promises.

Stellantis and LGES announced their battery plant investment in March last year, but tensions emerged when the United States in August passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a massive package of clean-tech incentives for companies.

Canada’s federal government has argued that the province of Ontario, where the battery plant is being built, should pay its share to resolve the dispute.

Ford earlier this week pushed back against it but on Friday agreed to open the purse strings, though he declined to provide details.

“I will confirm…we’re putting more money on the table there,” Ford told reporters.

“This is all about saving jobs and giving people the quality of life they deserve in southwestern Ontario,” he added.

In April, Canada agreed to provide up to C$13 billion in manufacturing tax credits and a C$700 million grant to lure German automaker Volkswagen AG to build its North American battery plant in the country. It was the biggest single investment ever in Canada’s electric-vehicle supply chain.

Ontario’s provincial government pledged C$500 million in direct investment to the German carmaker, the same amount it offered to Stellantis last year.

Earlier this week, Canada’s Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the federal government has increased its planned support to Stellantis and that to break the “stalemate,” it is important that Ontario “pay its fair share.”

Stellantis declined to comment.

(Reporting by Sam Jabri-PickettAdditional reporting by Steve Scherer in OttawaWriting by Denny Thomas, editing by Deepa Babington)


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