October 27, 2014

McInnis Cement Defends Itself and Sets the Record Straight

  • Since 1993, the project complies with the requirements of environmental authorities
  • The cement plant under construction will be a model of environmental performance
  • The project is realized without any subsidy
  • The plant has extensive social acceptability throughout the “Gaspésie” region

Port-Daniel–Gascons, Monday, October 27, 2014 – McInnis Cement has filed its contestation with the Superior court to the motion issued by Lafarge Canada Inc., the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement and Environnement Vert-Plus Inc. against its cement plant project in Port-Daniel–Gascons.

McInnis Cement states that since the project began in 1993, all communications between the developer and the government confirmed on more than 30 occasions that the project is exempted from the public hearing process of the BAPE. McInnis Cement states that the applicable legislative regime is that of Article 22 of the Environmental Quality Act and not that of Article 31.1.

This contestation provides McInnis Cement with an opportunity to set the records straight on several issues:

A model of environmental performance

McInnis Cement is building the only cement plant in Canada that will conform with the most restrictive air emission standards in North America. The NESHAP standards (New Plant) 2015 are indeed significantly more stringent than the current Québec standards. For example, with respect to emissions of particulate matter, this standard is 15 times more severe than the current standard in Québec.

Contrary to information that circulated, at the height of its production, the cement plant could produce 2 % of total emissions of GHG in the province of Québec and 6.9 % of its industrial emissions. This threshold will likely not be reached because as soon as the running-in period is completed, the company will be able to introduce biomass to potentially replace as much as 50 % of its fuel, which will gradually diminish GHG emissions (approximately 3.5 % for each 10 % of substituted fuel).

These emissions must be considered in a global context and in connection with their contribution to the fight against global warming. By adopting efficient technologies and replacing tons of cement produced by outdated and inefficient cement plants, McInnis Cement will contribute to the improvement of global GHG emissions.

By choosing technologies enabling it to reduce its energy consumption and to control its air emissions, and by promoting maritime transport for 95 % of inputs and finished products (a boat replaces 1,500 trucks), McInnis Cement is taking all means available to it to operate a cement plant with the lowest environmental footprint possible.

A structuring project for Québec’s economy

The value of the project is $ 1.1 billion and nearly 50 % of this amount will be committed by the end of 2014. The cement plant will set new standards for the Canadian industry in producing a very high quality of cement, at a lower cost than cement plants currently operating in Canada and elsewhere in North America.

The financing of the project involves no government subsidy.

The construction of the plant was restarted in May 2014. During the construction period, more than 2,300 jobs per year will be created, including 600-700 on-site at the cement plant. When the plant reaches its full production capacity, it will create more than 400 jobs (direct and indirect). Over a period of 20 years, tax revenues are estimated at $ 359 million for the Government of Québec. This is an important project for the economy of Gaspésie and Québec.

The arrival of McInnis Cement, an independent producer in a market controlled by a few multinationals, increases competition and challenges the industry. In this context, the procedures issued by Lafarge Canada Inc. are one of many steps taken by the latter to prevent the establishment of a more effective competitor, both from an economic and environmental standpoint.

A project developed with transparency

Ongoing communication was established at the outset of the project with government authorities. McInnis Cement has responded to all requests from the authorities at every stage of the project. Regional stakeholders as well as the local population were consulted repeatedly. A survey conducted by Léger Marketing confirms that 92 % of the region’s population supports the project.

All project information including the update of the environmental report are available on the website of McInnis Cement (www.cimentmcinnis.com).

The contestation produced by McInnis Cement is available on this link : http://cimentmcinnis.com/system/content/uploads/Contestation_CimentMcInnis.pdf

Because of pending legal procedures, McInnis Cement will give no interviews on the subject.

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Source : Florence Gauthier, Information Officer
581 351-0020 / 418 689-9333

[1] National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Polluants