The future of the cement plant McInnis questioned

Photo: Cement McInnis
The different options evaluated would include the outright sale of the plant in the Gaspé peninsula.

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and its partners in Cement McInnis would have made use of advisers to assess options for the future of the plant, including the sale thereof. The plant, which has cost more than $ 1.5 billion, was inaugurated last September.


According to information obtained by the agency Bloomberg, the Caisse and its partners, including Investissement Québec and the consortium Bombardier-Beaudoin, study different scenarios regarding the continuation of the activities of the cement plant, built at a cost overruns of more than $ 400 million.


The different options evaluated would include the outright sale of the plant in the Gaspé peninsula, the search for new partners or even the maintenance of the current situation. According to Bloomberg, no decision had been taken so far.


The office of the minister of the Economy Dominique Anglade has not denied the information published, adding that” no decision “. “For our part, the government will take the best decision to ensure the sustainability of activities and jobs that are attached to the performance of our investment “, said Friday its press officer, Kim Desert.


The government also reiterated its confidence in the “profitability” of the plant. “Moreover, we have always been clear : we believe that we have done our part for the project, and the government does not intend to invest more,” said the office of the minister Anglade.


The spokesman of Cement McInnis, Maryse Tremblay, stated that the subject was a matter of ” shareholders “, prompting The Need to contact the Caisse de dépôt. The latter, however, did not wish to comment on the information published by Bloomberg.


Why sell ?


The Parti québécois, these information have raised questions Friday. “Why the Caisse de dépôt does she want to sell ? Is it because it believes it can realize a gain on its investment or, on the contrary, because it anticipates losses if it holds ? It must explain its reasons “, argued the member of parliament for Bonaventure, Sylvain Roy.


Cement McInnis, the largest polluter in Quebec’s industrial, was supposed to cost initially $ 1.1 billion. However, in 2016, the bill has jumped nearly 40 %, to $ 1.5 billion. This is equivalent to investments of $ 7.5 million per job.


A significant portion of the total bill has been paid for with public funds : Investissement Québec has granted a loan of 250 million and 100 million interest in the capital stock.


The Caisse, for its part, injected a total of $ 265 million in the project, including an addition of 165 million by 2016, including to fund a portion of cost overruns. The consortium Bombardier-Beaudoin has also invested 212 million, in addition to an amount of 125 million from BlackRock.