'Incendiary devices' discovered at Montreal-area EV construction site

Nails or metal bars had also previously been inserted into dozens of trees, with an anonymous anarchist group claiming responsibility online for the sabotage, which they said was to protest the project.

'Incendiary devices' discovered at Montreal-area EV construction site
The Canadian Press / Christinne Muschi
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A company building a major electric vehicle battery factory in Quebec reported the discovery of incendiary devices at its construction site on Monday morning.

The site has previously been targeted by an anonymous anarchist group with plans to "sabotage" the project for purportedly destroying woods and wetlands.

The co-founder of Northvolt Paolo Cerruti, who also serves as the CEO of Northvolt North America, said the devices were made of bottles filled with flammable liquid and a "rudimentary" ignition system.

He told reporters that the ignition system "allowed for a certain delay" before detonating but that "thank God it didn't work."

The devices were initially called "homemade bombs" in a news release, but that was later corrected to be "incendiary devices."

Cerruti stated that multiple bottles were positioned beneath the tires of specific equipment at the site. Chantal Graveline from the Richelieu—Saint-Laurent police force verified the presence of incendiary devices under a vehicle and stated that an investigation has been initiated.

The discovery on Monday marks the most recent instance of purported vandalism at the prospective location of Northvolt's $7-billion electric vehicle battery factory.

The location sits between Montreal — McMasterville and Saint-Basile-le-Grand, and is scheduled to be open by 2027. It is expected to be able to produce about 30 gigawatt-hours of cell manufacturing a year, which would power one million vehicles, reports the Canadian Press.

Since its announcement in September, the project has encountered resistance from environmental organizations and the Mohawk community, who argue that the plant is being constructed on environmentally fragile land without undergoing a thorough review process.

In late February, law enforcement initiated an investigation following reports of spiked mats being placed at the site, resulting in damage to a vehicle.

Nails or metal bars had also been inserted into dozens of trees, with an anonymous anarchist group claiming responsibility online for the sabotage, which they said was to protest the project.

"We are more determined than ever to go forward," said Cerruti. "We have the support of the community."

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