Dilkens says LG Chem plant in Windsor-Essex still possible

AM800-News-LG Chem

Windsor's mayor says the ship hasn't sailed yet when it comes to the potential for an LG Chem plant in the region.

LG Chem is still searching for a location to establish a plant to supply the nearly $5 billion electric vehicle battery plant to be built in Windsor.

Speaking on AM800's The Morning Drive, Drew Dilkens says it isn't off the table and the only issue would be timing when it comes to the power needed for such a plant.

"There are issues if LG Chem wanted to come today and just hook up to the existing system, it would be challenging to fund an operation of their size. We're talking about 200 acres, so it's a big operation."

He says even though the existing transmission line can't handle the load today, we know the $1 billion line from Chatham to Lakeshore is going to be operational by 2025.

"If LG Chem were to locate here and open doors in 2024, how do we provide power between 2024 and the day the transmission line is active in 2025," he continued. "And there are lots of local solutions to be able to do that, the biggest one being the Brighton Beach power plant which has been in Windsor forever and a day."

Dilkens says that Brighton Beach is operating at a very low capacity, which could easily be contracted by the province to ramp up energy production.

There are also other suppliers and generation locally that can be ramped up if need be according to Dilkens, among other options.

"And don't forget there's lots of talk in the community over the years about how Ontario sends hydro over to Michigan through an intertie line underneath the Detroit River. Well, we also have the ability to take power back and to buy power from Michigan. So there are lots of different opportunities, and the government responded very quickly when this information was put out," Dilkens said.

Dilkens says they will continue to pursue LG Chem, though it cannot be located within the city, as they do not have a parcel of land big enough given the timeline.

However, Dilkens says there are options with adjoining municipalities and they'll be supporting those efforts where they can to bring more jobs to the region.

 

- with files from AM800's The Morning Drive