June 16, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Construction of $1.2 billion Ford plant halted: 'They're taking a step back,' Fitzgibbon says

Construction of $1.2 billion Ford plant halted: 'They're taking a step back,' Fitzgibbon says

South Korea's Ecopro BM, SK On and American Ford have temporarily halted construction of a $1.2 billion plant in Beaconcore, explained mainly by problems with the composition of cathodes. Newspaper Finance Minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon, on Tuesday.

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“There are questions about the composition of the cathodes. Do they want more nickels? They look at different formulations. They are taking a step back as it is expensive to build. We know, it's expensive everywhere,” he explained in an interview NewspaperFinance Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon during an aerospace announcement in Montreal on Tuesday morning.



EcoPro CAM and the Ford plant, whose construction is on pause, should produce 45,000 tons of active cathode material per year to make batteries for Ford electric vehicles.

Photo by Frances Hallin



ARG-Pierre-Fitzgibbon

This is what the EcoPro CAM and Ford should have done when they were built at the factory.

Presented by Investments Quebec

“I have nothing to suggest it won't come back, but you never know. We haven't put money into it yet,” the minister emphasized. According to Investment Quebec (IQ), the plant will start operations next year and create more than 345 jobs.

“They didn't say they weren't going to leave,” summarizes Pierre Fitzgibbon.

Initially, Ottawa and Quebec were planned $322 million each Under certain circumstances, this factory project was used to produce battery materials for Ford vehicles.

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The aid from Quebec will be in the form of an interest-free loan, including $194 million in “forgivable” loans that will not be repaid unless Ford meets certain conditions, particularly promised jobs.

A week ago, Prime Minister Francois Legault said there was “nothing to worry about”.



ARG-Pierre-Fitzgibbon

Prime Minister François Legault sought reassurance by visiting the Altium CAM (GM-POSCO) plant in Beconcourt last Monday, in the absence of his finance minister, who has been leading the issue for years.

Photo by Frances Hallin

last saturday News magazine Beaconcore has published a file on the progress of the sector, which raises a lot of hopes in the region.

While the hundreds of construction workers on construction sites are already cheering local merchants, others expect the development to continue as factories are built and workers finally arrive in their area.



ARG-Pierre-Fitzgibbon

“Since the start of the battery sector, traffic has increased by a whopping 30%,” enthused Nancy Cloutier, accounting clerk “Journal” at the Le 55 hotel complex at the exit from Laviolette Bridge in Trois. Rivières, in Beconcore.

Photo by Frances Hallin

Five projects are in progress

During an interview with News magazineOn Tuesday, Government Minister Legault, who has supported the sector from the beginning, recalled that there are five main projects.

“Big projects are GM-Posco, EcoPro-Ford, Vale, Nemaska [Lithium] and New World Graphite. These are the five flagship projects,” emphasizes Pierre Fitzgibbon.

“It's a lot of pressure on the city. I've always said that. “That's why Northvolt didn't go there and didn't go anywhere else,” he continued.

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About 16 billion dollars of projects have been announced, but the minister expects to cross 20 billion dollars.



ARG-Pierre-Fitzgibbon

Eric Desaulniers is leading the development of Nouveau Monde Graphite.

Photo by Frances Hallin

“No Disputes”

Asked about his bill aimed at modernizing Hydro-Québec, Minister Fitzgibbon reiterated his desire to move forward more quickly on energy projects and give more power to the Régie de l'énergie (and greater transparency).

“There will be at least five to six months of negotiations. “There will be no disputes in the bill,” he concluded.

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