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Multiple suppliers in Ontario announce upgrades to meet EV demand


Suspension manufacturer THK Rhythm Automotive Canada Ltd. is the latest in a wave of Ontario suppliers investing in upgrades and retooling meant to speed processes and meet increasingly complex requirements for vehicle parts.

The Canadian division of Tokyo-based global manufacturer THK says it will spend $27 million to expand a plant in Tillsonburg, Ont., and add automated machining and assembly centres. The project is expected to add 65 jobs in Tillsonburg and another 35 at a THK plant in St. Catharines, Ont.

The company said the plants will supply steering and linkage components for upcoming projects at Toyota and Ford.

The Ontario government is contributing $1 million to the expansion.

Earlier in November, ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks announced it will invest $17.4 million in new equipment and modifications at its plant in Woodstock, Ont., to produce door rings and tailor welded outer blanks.

Chief executive Todd Baker said the upgrades will allow the plant to produce one million door rings annually for the electric vehicle market.

Ontario is chipping in $1.5 million for that project, which is expected to add 32 jobs to a current workforce of 53.

Parent ArcelorMittal is the world’s second-largest steelmaker and operator of the Dofasco mills in Hamilton, Ont.

The province is also providing $1.2 million to ZF Automotive Canada, part of the global ZF Group, to support a $7.8-million upgrade at a stamping plant in Midland, Ont. The company said it will add a trivalent chromium plating line with a “proprietary innovative chemical process” that will allow it to meet the European market’s increasingly strict environmental standards.

The project will add 27 jobs.

Federal money is supporting a Mississauga, Ont., company’s bid to become a leader in the production of high-purity aluminum oxide, a key component in solid-state batteries for electric vehicles and other uses. The $4.1-million grant to Polar Sapphire Ltd. is the second investment by Sustainable Development Technology Canada in the “clean-tech” company.

Controlled by private equity firm Ara Partners, Sapphire was founded in 2012 and focuses on purifying aluminum oxide, also known as alumina and HPA, at lower temperatures and with less power than existing processes.

Read More: Multiple suppliers in Ontario announce upgrades to meet EV demand


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