QUÉBEC CITY, October 9, 2012 - Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) and La Coop fédérée today announced an agreement of intent to establish a nitrogen fertiliser plant in Bécancour. The $1.2-billion investment, will allow production and marketing of fertiliser. The investment will generate around 500 construction jobs and over 200 post completion jobs in the community. The plant's construction is targeted to begin in 2014, once the various permits have been approved and the production of fertilizer is targeted to begin in 2017.
This announcement assumes significance in the context of the International Summit of Cooperatives, which is being held in Québec City, bringing together more than 2,000 decision-makers from the cooperative and mutual movement around the world.
IFFCO chose the Bécancour industrial park site due to its strategic location, its access to a port, railway and natural gas pipeline. The possibility of a partnership with La Coop fédérée, an agriculture cooperative society, interest of North American farmers and the proactive role played by the Government of Québec were also decisive factors.
"This investment allows two large agricultural cooperatives (La Coop fédérée and IFFCO) from two large agricultural economies, to play a vital role in a rapidly-changing agricultural industry," explained Dr. U.S. Awasthi, Managing Director and CEO of IFFCO.
"For our government, this industry, and all the regions where it is progressing, represents a major source of collective wealth. We must rely on prosperous regions offering quality jobs. This is why the Gouvernement du Québec is proud to support this industry, which ultimately will allow the creation of more than 200 quality jobs in Bécancour. The materialization of the IFFCO project, in partnership with La Coop fédérée, also illustrates the importance that our government attaches to the meeting of economic development players and the creation of a hospitable environment for sustainable development in every region of Québec," mentioned the Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique du Québec, Élaine Zakaïb.
IFFCO is a first-rate world player in the fertilizer industry. "It has the necessary expertise and knowhow for this type of project and we are convinced of its success. This is major news, which will have repercussions not only for Ville de Bécancour and the Centre-du-Québec region, but for Québec as a whole," affirmed the Government Chief Whip, responsible for the Mauricie region, Yves-François Blanchet.
La Coop fédérée will act as co-investor in this transaction and will distribute the product in its vast network of more than 175 stores of several regions of Canada. "We are very proud that IFFCO has chosen to call on La Coop fédérée's recognized expertise. Together, we will be able to extend, even more spectacularly, the principles of shared benefits that drive the cooperative movement. When the product is launched, all Québec and Canadian agricultural producers will benefit. This project will allow Québec and Canada to consolidate even further their role as leaders in agriculture and foodstuff production," added Denis Richard, President of La Coop fédérée.
Investissement Québec (IQ), which has the mission of contributing to Québec's economic development, played a leading role in this transaction's success. "All our expertise and our networks were involved in guiding the enterprise in its approaches and putting forward Québec's advantages as a welcoming environment for its project. Investissement Québec organized orientation programs for IFFCO's representatives. We established contact with different sites that combined the advantages and attributes sought by the enterprise. The choice was Bécancour. I wish to congratulate and thank the people responsible for Société du Parc Industriel et Portuaire de Bécancour for the positive reception they gave to this project," maintained Jacques Daoust, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investissement Québec.
With over 50 million members through 40 000 member cooperative societies, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) is one of the biggest fertilizer cooperatives in the world with a turn over in excess of USD 5 billion. It supplies quality fertilizers and provides services to farmers. The cooperative operates five fertilizer production plants in India and holds participating interest in plants in the Sultanate of Oman, Jordan and Senegal, in addition to investing in Australia, Peru and Argentina. Through its foundation, IFFCO is recognized for its involvement in local communities in India, whether in the fields of agriculture, education, health or drinking water supply.
Founded 1922, La Coop fédérée is the biggest agri-food enterprise in Québec and ranks among the 100 biggest cooperatives and mutuals in the world, all sectors combined. It is owned by more than 90,000 members grouped in 103 cooperatives spread through several provinces of Canada. La Coop fédérée is present throughout the agri-food chain and, as a wholesaler, provides agricultural producers with the goods and services necessary to operate their farm businesses. Its network includes five banners: Elite and La Coop (livestock and plant production and grain marketing), Unimat (hardware and farm machinery), Sonic (energy) and Olymel (meat processing). La Coop fédérée and its network employ over 16,000 people and have a cumulative turnover of $8.5 billion. www.lacoop.coop and twitter.com/LaCoop_federee
Investissement Québec's mission is to foster the growth of investment in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment.
Mr. Alistair Fraser
Vice-President, Business Development, IFFCO Canada
Mr. Ben Marc Diendéré
Director of Communications, La Coop fédérée
Ms. Paule Genest, ARP
Ms. Diane Jeannotte
1 866 870-0437