The establishment of the Apuiat wind farm on the North Shore is likely to have many consequences… outside of Quebec. According to a document consulted by The newspaperThere is still no regional or local content requirement in this project announced with great fanfare by the CWC government.
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The $600 million project, which aims to generate 200 mW of power starting in 2024, is the result of an OTC deal between Hydro-Québec and a partnership between Boralex and Apuiat, a limited partnership founded by eight Innu aboriginal communities.
Initially announced in 2018 by the Couillard government, the project was denounced by François Legault for the lack of regional or local content requirements.
However, Legault promised…
The CWC government had frozen the project, before changing its mind, and had made an announcement last year. Mr. Legault also tweeted that the project “was a success for Quebec.”
But according to a letter from the office of Energy Minister Jonatan Julien, nothing has changed on the Quebec content issue. “The law on the Régie de l’énergie does not provide that the project may be the subject of a decree of concerns that include the government’s expectations in economic matters […]as a specific level of local or regional content”, it is written.
The situation makes the PQ deputy for Matane jump, Pascal Bérubé, worried about the Marmen plant, which works in slow motion, due to the lack of wind energy contracts.
“I want to make sure that there are local content requirements in this project, as is the tradition in the wind energy sector, to obtain the maximum benefits. […] What I want is for us to be able to relaunch the Marmen plant in Matane,” he said.
contacted by The newspapercompany boss Patrick Pellerin shares the same fears and would be sorry to see China win the day.
“I’m not saying that the play is lost, but the situation is difficult. We offer with the main turbine manufacturers. Several told us that they are looking at China, because the product is cheaper”, he regrets.
Marmen manufactures wind turbine towers. He is the only player from Quebec who has developed this experience.
“This project would have helped us, because the factory is back, but we have a very small volume. Currently, we do not manufacture components for wind turbines,” explains Mr. Pellerin.
With Apuiat’s contract, the company could lay off 60 to 100 employees for at least a year, the time to deal with the slump in the wind sector, before the return of major contracts from 2025.
The company also promises…
contacted by The newspaperthe Apuiat company assures that the contract will have an impact for the region.
“There are clauses that are confidential, but the project itself will definitely create local and regional spillovers, in terms of the 300 workers on site and the royalty deals,” said Kateri Jourdain, director of environmental relations.
The PQ wants concrete actions
But MP Pascal Bérubé is asking the government to always include local content in all wind energy contracts.
“The government must specify the requirements for local content, particularly for the Gaspésie administrative region and the MRC de la Matanie, and also for Quebec content,” he said.
Indian trains for the REM (about $280 million)
CDPQ Infra had chosen Alstom, and not Bombardier, for the contract for the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) trains, which had turned to its Indian plant. During the first deliveries, the trains presented defects and welding problems.
Alstom’s Indian factory where REM trains are assembled.
Window panels for REM stations made in Abu Dhabi (quantity unknown)
Emirates Glass, a company from the United Arab Emirates, was chosen to manufacture the large exterior panels for 26 REM stations. A Quebec company, Prelco, with 55 years of experience, was left out.
California Trains for VIA Rail ($1 billion)
In 2018, Germany’s Siemens had beaten Bombardier to the finish line for the contract for 32 VIA Rail trains that were eventually built in California. As for the La Pocatière plant, which now belongs to Alstom, it works in slow motion.
Chinese trains for Exo ($130 million)
The order for 44 cars had been made by the Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT), predecessor of the current operator Exo, to the Chinese company CRRC. After several delays, the first cars were received this year.
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