Windsor's EV battery plant needs a million tonnes of gravel. Here's how it will get here

·1 min read
At a site near Sandpoint Beach, aggregate is loaded onto a truck. According to Windsor's Port Authority, some 400 truckloads of crushed stone will be hauled to the location of the new EV battery plant per day.  (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)
At a site near Sandpoint Beach, aggregate is loaded onto a truck. According to Windsor's Port Authority, some 400 truckloads of crushed stone will be hauled to the location of the new EV battery plant per day. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)

More than a million tonnes of crushed stone are on their way to Windsor-Essex as part of the new $4.9-billion electric vehicle battery plant — and there's a tight deadline.

Steve Salmons, the CEO of the Windsor Port Authority, said the aggregate is being shipped here through the Great Lakes from four quarries — one in Michigan, one in Ohio and two in Northern Ontario.

All that material needs to arrive before Christmas. The partners in the project are determined to get the factory up and running by the target date of 2024, Salmons said.

LISTEN: Steve Salmons joins Windsor Morning 

And as the winter sets in, it is important to get the base down for the plant, he said.

"Not only so they can stabilize the site...to begin the construction next year, but also the weight of the gravel itself serves not just as a solid base for the plant but it actually presses down on the earth and drives out water so that the plant base and the plant site and footings are stable for next year."

Darrin Di Carlo/CBC
Darrin Di Carlo/CBC

It will require more than 50 shiploads to complete the delivery, something Salmons said is more environmentally friendly and cost effective compared with shipping it by truck alone.

After the gravel arrives in Windsor, 400 truckloads a day will be hauled to the final destination, the future plant site on Twin Oaks Drive near Windsor International Airport.

Mike Evans/CBC
Mike Evans/CBC

The EV battery plant, a partnership of automaker Stellantis and LG Energy Solution announced in March, is expected to be as big as 112 NHL hockey rinks.

It was the first lithium-ion electric vehicle battery plant project announced in Canada.

CBC News has contacted Stellantis for comment.