Nemaska Lithium’s decision to turn to Bécancour to set up its commercial high-purity lithium plant in Shawinigan did not pass.
“Today’s announcement is a very difficult blow,” Shawinigan Mayor Michel Anger told a news conference.
Mayor Angers made Nemasca’s arrival in his town a personal matter. It was he who convinced the company in 2015 to set up at the former Laurentide paper mill.
The reasons given by the new partners, including Investissement Québec, for moving the company to Bécancour did not convince the elected official. The latter notably argued that having a deep-water port was not a real advantage for Center de Quebec because, in any case, the ore would be transported to the plant by rail.
Promoters also argued that the available spaces would provide better possibilities for Bécancour’s expansion. Another argument was refuted by Michel Ingres, who argued that a large-scale Aline-Asselin industrial complex was nonetheless available in Shawinigan.
“I will not hide from you that I am deeply disappointed and frustrated at not using other words, out of politeness. I certainly do not accept Nemasca lithium’s arguments.”
Economically, Michel Ingres thinks the Lego government “now owes it to Shawinigan”.
Rep. Donald Martel of CAQ assures us that the selection of Bécancour was made according to the rules of art. “I, I know Mr. Fitzgibbon commissioned people to evaluate the best potential site and this was done objectively,” a Nicolet-Bécancour representative confirmed.
And the mayor of Becancourt is also trying to calm things down: “I spoke to Michel Angers this morning and I don’t want to make it a city fight in particular. This is not a city fight,” said Jean-Guy Dubois.