Saint-Michel-des-Saints, May 11, 2021 – Investissement Québec International is proud to have provided assistance to La Granaudière, a wood pellet production plant in the Lanaudière region, with the signing of a supply contract with Franco-Belgian electricity supplier Groupe ENGIE. The contract is valued at $40 million a year over 10 years. A first delivery of 21,000 tonnes of wood pellets left the Port of Québec last week.
The forestry company based in Saint-Michel-des-Saints will export most of its production, which is expected to reach 200,000 tonnes of wood pellets a year by 2022, to the European market. Harvesting the raw material, operating the plant and transporting the product to the Port of Québec’s wood pellet terminal, from which it will be shipped, are expected to create over 150 jobs.
La Granaudière is one of just a handful of Québec wood pellet producers to sign a long-term global supply contract. The company is taking advantage of the interest from power producers, which are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by turning to renewable energy sources. Québec wood pellets are made from low-quality wood and forest waste.
The already remarkable story of La Granaudière began in 2014, when Investissement Québec, along with the Québec General Office in Brussels, backed plans by Belgian developer Yves Crits to open a facility in the province. In 2019, the Québec government provided the company with $27 million in financial assistance – including loans from Ressources Québec, an Investissement Québec subsidiary, as well as from the ESSOR program – to help it build and commission its wood pellet plant. It took the company just 20 months after work commenced to make its first overseas delivery, despite the complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
All in all, nearly $55 million has been invested in the project. Groupe ENGIE, a world leader in renewable energies, and Québec group MR Capital are among the private-sector strategic partners taking part in the project.
“La Granaudière’s activities will boost trade between Belgium and Québec and offers further evidence that Investissement Québec International is just as able to attract foreign direct investment as it is to support Québec companies looking to grow internationally. Pooling the strengths of Export Québec and Investissement Québec International, backed by strategic and technological support from the regional offices of the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and Investissement Québec – CRIQ, is already paying dividends, with over 3,300 exporters supported in the last year.”
Hubert Bolduc, President of Investissement Québec International
“I would like to thank all the partners who have believed in this project since the beginning. La Granaudière is breathing new life into the forestry industry at a time when environmental issues are a growing priority. At the same time, it is bringing a transformative new industry based on renewable energy to Saint-Michel-des-Saints. I am proud to play a part both in bringing down greenhouse gas emissions and in building prosperity for the Lanaudière region.”
Yves Crits, President of La Granaudière
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