(Montreal) After the federal government blocked its project, the Quebec government wants to resume operations in the province, where the French company wants to produce cargo airships with an investment of 30 million.
The Quebec projects of the French company Flying Wales have been blocked by Ottawa, which is concerned about the dangers posed by industrial espionage due to the presence of Chinese shareholders. The Canadian press learned that the company had repurchased a 24.9% stake in AVIC General in early September with the help of French shareholders, French banking group Oddo.
The French company has resumed its efforts with Ottawa to get the green light from federal authorities in a plan to create a Quebec subsidiary, with CEO and company founder Sebastian Bougan joining Paris.
Now that the transaction is complete, he is hopeful that he will receive federal government clearance. “We fully responded to their request,” he said. There will be no shareholder or contract collaboration with Chinese players. ”
Its founder said the company understood federal government concerns and decided to buy a Chinese shareholder in September 2020. The transaction took a year to complete. “It’s a complicated transaction,” he said. It is not so easy to explain to a partner that we no longer want him. ”
The rejection of the federal government embarrassed the Legalt government. Investment Quebec has invested $ 30 million in a French company. The public sector finance company owns 25% of the French company and 49.9% of the Quebec subsidiary. The Quebec government was not financially involved in the acquisition of Chinese shareholders.
The Coulard government rejected the project, but a panel of experts questioned its credibility.
Three years later, the opposition to the Legalt government criticized the decision to reconsider the project. “Investment I do not know if anyone in Quebec inhales helium, but it does not make sense. In February 2020, Quebec launched Solidire’s Vincent Marisal. How could we put money against the opinion of experts on the patent? Can’t fly?”
Mr Bougan assured the company business plan was feasible. He replied that it would demonstrate the support of “trusted” shareholders and the cooperation of some forty companies in the aeronautics segment. “It’s not Flying Wales who is developing a project alone in his corner and whose skills we can doubt.”
In Quebec, we welcome the good news of the project’s ununch launch. “Any progress on the file allowing spinoffs in Quebec is welcome and this is one of them,” said Matthew Saint-Almond, press secretary for Economy and Innovation, Pierre FitzGibbon. This innovative project in the new location will benefit from our expertise in aerospace. ”
Projects for Quebec
The company is developing a cargo airship project with a carrying capacity of 60 tons. The model is still in the design stage. The first device is to be built in 2023 at its French factory. The manager expects the certification process to continue for two years.
Mr Bougan explained that Flying Wales would be the company’s home port in Quebec America. He plans to start production in 2025 to start production in 2026. “200 to 300 people” can work at this plant.
However, Quebec operations can start earlier. “Dozens of engineers” in France are “ready” to go to Quebec to start a subsidiary. “We can’t wait to develop our business with you and stay tuned.”
In Quebec, the company has collaborated with the University of Quebec, National Research Council Canada and Pratt & Whitney to develop second-generation airships in Troy-Rivieres.
Mr Bougan said it was too early to tell when she would launch the second generation of her device, but hoped she would get there before the electric plane.