Local purchase ignored for Apuiat

The construction of the Apuiat wind farm on the North Shore will likely have many by-products… outside of Quebec. According to a document consulted by The newspaperThere are no regional or local content requirements yet in this project, announced with great fanfare by the CAQ government.

The $600 million project, which is expected to generate 200MW of power by 2024, is the result of an off-exchange agreement between Hydro-Québec and a partnership between Boralex and Apuiat, a limited partnership formed by eight Innu Aboriginal communities.

Initially announced in 2018 by the Couillard government, the project was denounced by François Legault for lacking regional or local content requirements.

However, Legault promised…

The CAQ government had put the project on hold before changing its mind, making an announcement last year. Mr Legault also tweeted that the project was “a winner for Quebec”.

However, nothing has changed on the Quebec content issue, according to a letter from the Office of Energy Secretary Jonatan Julien. “The Régie de l’énergie Act does not provide that the project may be the subject of an enactment of concerns, including government expectations on economic matters […]such as B. a targeted level of local or regional content,” it says.

The situation has the PQ MP for Matane, Pascal Bérubé, jumping up worried about the Marmen plant, which is running in slow motion due to the lack of wind power contracts.

“I want to make sure there are local content requirements on this project, as is traditional in the wind industry, to maximize benefit. […] What I want is that we can revive the Marmen plant in Matane,” he argued.

Contacted by The newspaperthe company’s boss, Patrick Pellerin, shares the same concerns and would regret if China won.

“I’m not saying that Game is lost, but the situation is difficult. We bid from the major turbine manufacturers. Several have told us that they are looking to China because the product is cheaper,” he laments.

Marmen manufactures towers for wind turbines. He is the only Quebec player to have developed this expertise.

“This project would have helped us because the factory has moved, but we have a very small volume. We currently do not manufacture any components for wind turbines,” explains Mr. Pellerin.

With Apuiat’s deal, the company could lay back 60 to 100 employees for at least a year, time to deal with the wind industry bottom before major orders are returned from 2025.

The company also promises…

Contacted by The newspaperthe company Apuiat ensures that the contract has an impact on the region.

“There are confidential clauses, but the project itself will definitely create local and regional spin-offs in terms of the 300 workers on site and the licensing arrangements,” said Kateri Jourdain, Director of Environmental Relations.

The PQ wants concrete actions

But MP Pascal Bérubé calls on the government to include local content in all wind power contracts every time.

“The government needs to establish requirements for local content, particularly for the administrative region of Gaspésie and the MRC de la Matanie, as well as content in Quebec,” he said.

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Alstom's Indian factory where REM trains are assembled.

Photo: AFP

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