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The Apuiat wind farm will have branches...outside Quebec

The Apuiat wind farm will have branches…outside Quebec

The creation of the Apuiat wind farm, on the North Shore, would likely have many benefits…outside of Quebec. According to the advisory document NewspaperHowever, there is still no requirement for regional or local content in this project which has been announced with great fanfare by the CAQ government.

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The $600 million project, which aims to generate 200 megawatts of power starting in 2024, is the result of an over-the-counter agreement 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 due to the lack of regional or local content requirements.

However, Legault promised…

The CAQ government had halted the project before it changed its mind, and made an announcement last year. Mr Legault had also tweeted that the project “was a winner for Quebec City”.

But according to a letter from the office of the Secretary of Energy, Jonathan Julien, nothing has changed on the question of Quebec’s content. “The Régie de l’énergie does not state that the project may be the subject of a decree of concern, including the expectations of the Government in economic matters. […]such as a targeted level of local or regional content,” it is written.

This situation makes Matane’s PQ MP, Pascal Birubi, jump, worried about the Marmen plant, which is running in slow motion, due to a lack of wind power contracts.

“I want to make sure that there is a requirement in this project for local content, as is usual in the wind energy sector, to maximize the benefits. […] What I want is for us to be able to restart the Marmine factory in Matane.”

call him NewspaperThe company’s president, Patrick Bellerin, shares the same concerns and would be sorry to see China win the day.

“I do not say that Game Lost, but the situation is difficult. We are bidding with major turbine manufacturers. Many of them told us they are looking to China, because the product is cheaper.”

Marmen manufactures wind turbine towers. He is the only player in Quebec who has developed this expertise.

“This project could have helped us, because the plant is back, but our scale is very small. At the moment, we do not make components for wind turbines,” explains Mr. Pellerin.

With the Apuiat contract, the company can call on 60 to 100 employees for at least a year, which is a good time to tackle the trough in the wind sector, before major contracts return from 2025.

The company also…

call him NewspaperApuiat ensures that the contract will have an impact on the region.

“There are confidentiality clauses, but the project itself will certainly create local and regional subsidiaries, in terms of 300 on-site workers and ownership agreements,” said Katry Jordan, Director of Environmental Relations.

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PQ wants concrete action

But MP Pascal Biroby is asking the government to include local content every time in all wind energy contracts.

“The government should define requirements for local content, in particular for the administrative region of Gaspésie and the MRC de la Matanie, as well as for Quebec content,” he said.

Indian REM trains (about $280 million)
CDPQ Infra chose Alstom – not Bombardier – to hold the Réseau Express métropolitain (REM) trains, which it turned into its Indian factory. During the first deliveries, the trains had defects and welding problems.

Alstom's Indian factory where the REM trains are assembled.

Photo: Agence France-Presse

Alstom’s Indian factory where the REM trains are assembled.

Window Panels for Al Reem Plants Manufactured in Abu Dhabi (Quantity Unknown)
Emirates Glass, a company from the United Arab Emirates, has been selected to manufacture the large outdoor panels for 26 REM plants. Prelco of Quebec, which has 55 years of experience, has been retired.

California Railroads for the Via Railroad ($1 billion)
In 2018, Germany’s Siemens beat Bombardier to the finish line for a contract of 32 Via Rail trains that were eventually built in California. As for the La Pocatière factory, now owned by Alstom, it works in slow motion.

Chinese trains for Exo ($130 million)
An order for 44 cars has been placed by the Urban Transportation Agency (AMT), the predecessor to the current operator Exo, to China’s CRRC. After several delays, the first cars were received this year.