Nearly $400 million in investments on the North Shore
Port-Cartier, June 16, 2014 - FerroAtlántica Group has chosen to establish its new FerroQuébec subsidiary in Port-Cartier, Quebec. Its objective is to build the most competitive silicon metal factory in the world by drawing on Québec's expertise and talent, making use of renewable resources, participating in regional economic development and creating significant wealth and economic benefits right here. This $382 million investment will create 345 direct jobs and produce 100,000 tonnes per year. The FerroQuébec silicon metal factory is the FerroAtlántica's and Villar Mir Group's first industrial site in North America. A major investment has been announced this morning in the presence of Québec Premier Philippe Couillard; Minister of Economy, Innovation and Exports Jacques Daoust; Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Science and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region Yves Bolduc; and Port-Cartier Mayor Violaine Doyle.
An environmental impact study beginning in June 2014 will mark the project's first phase which requires a $215 million investment. The three furnaces are slated for full operation by December 2017. This project will create nearly 230 construction-related jobs and 175 direct jobs to produce 50,000 tonnes annually.
"We have found Quebec, and Port-Cartier in particular, to be especially welcoming and stimulating businesswise. The conditions are ideal to grow our activities. We are excited to be setting up in Québec and participating even more actively in its prosperity. FerroAtlántica Group sees silicon metal as a substance of the future and an opportunity, especially for Québec and the North Shore, to consolidate its singular expertise to position itself among this growth industry's world leaders," said the Group's owner Juan-Miguel Villar Mir.
Logistically, Port-Cartier is strategically interesting because it is easily accessible by boat, train and truck, has readily available wood substance and holds immense promise for sustainable development using an integrated cogeneration component.
"Today is a milestone in our history. We intend to rise to the challenge shoulder to shoulder with the communities and socioeconomic leaders of the North Shore region and the Port-Cartier municipality. We are setting up in Québec to forge leading edge expertise and propel it to even greater heights. We will devote all the energy necessary for this project to succeed and generate quality jobs and wealth while fostering highly promising regional synergies," added Group President Pedro Larrea Paguaga.
"In addition, we would like to thank the Québec Government, the municipality of Port-Cartier, the energetic regional forces with whom we will be working, and all partners involved so far, for the valued support they provided to see this project to the light of day. We also applaud the commitment, collaboration and outstanding work of all municipalities considered for this project," concluded Mr. Paguaga.
About silicon metal production
FerroQuébec will develop facilities at the forefront of technology, including a high-performance wood charcoal plant to produce silicon metal for export, mainly to the American and Canadian markets. Note that silicon is produced in modern electric arc furnaces working 24/7 that reduce silicon dioxide found in quartz, One of the project's goals is to maximize the use of renewable materials from forest biomass. Silicon metal is mainly used to lighten vehicles, improve constructions and produce solar energy.
About FerroAtlántica Group
FerroAtlántica Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Spain's Villar Mir Group. FerroAtlántica is the global leader in silicon metal production and one of the biggest producers of manganese and ferrosilicon alloys. They are used primarily in the automotive industry, silicone production, high-performance concrete and solar panel manufacturing. In 2012, FerroAtlántica recorded sales of €1.1 billion and employed 3,100 people at its 15 plants across Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.
About Grupo Villar Mir
Grupo Villar Mir is one of the largest privately owned Spanish industrial groups. Its worldwide operations span 40 countries on five continents. In only 25 years, Villar Mir Group has extended its activity portfolio to include construction, transportation infrastructure, real estate development, electrometallurgy, energy, fertilizers and services. Through its construction subsidiary, OHL, the group is already involved in several projects in Canada, including the University of Montreal Hospital Centre. With a budget topping $2 billion, it is one of the world's biggest hospitals currently under construction. OHL has a 25% stake in the concession and a 50% stake in the construction work. The group also holds a 50% stake in the $400-million Toronto subway project, which includes a 3.5-km double tunnel and 600 surface parking spaces.
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