Battery sector: “There are many other announcements coming,” says Legault

After revitalizing the Bécancour industrial park with the arrival of major players in the battery industry, Prime Minister François Legault confirmed that announcements regarding this activity in Quebec are just the beginning.

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In an interview with TVA Nouvelles, Quebec’s premier confirms that Quebecers are not the last to hear in the battery industry.

“I won’t scoop it myself, but there are more announcements coming,” he says.

Within two weeks, the government has to announce 7 billion private investment in this direction.

The North Volt company, in particular, will be interested in Quebec.

“Without revealing anything, […] Why are they looking at Quebec? Because we are only saying that your factory will not run on gas, it will run on hydropower and wind,” says the Prime Minister.

“Being green is essential in everything we do,” he adds. If we agree with GM and Ford, they will establish a factory in Quebec that will produce green batteries for electric vehicles.

Mr. Legault loved it.

“Every time we put in a dollar, we want to make sure that Quebecers get more than a dollar in benefits,” he says.

“Two things are better than the Americans: we have clean energy with Hydro-Québec, and we can do more because we have the expertise to produce the big projects we did 25 years ago, and they are coming. To Quebec.”

By investing so much, the government wanted to ensure its integration into the global green energy market and counter US protectionism.

“On average, manufacturing jobs pay 35% more than the average for all jobs,” says Mr. Legault. Whether it’s Trump or Biden, they want to bring it back [les usines situées en Asie, en Amérique du Nord] They have plans, so of course there is competition, we have done our calculations.

The city of Pekancore, which was hit hard by the shutdown of the Gentilly Nuclear Power Plant in 2012, has seen a good influx of major players in the automotive and battery industries.

“It was a really hard blow to the region and the Gentilly department took a big hit,” says Nicolet-Begancour MP Donald Martel. When I think about the businesses that could have been there, there are a lot of houses for sale.

“Almost 1,000 jobs worth almost $100,000 a year, we lost at once, which is a very important economic activity,” he continues.

Created in 1968, the only industrial park owned by the Quebec government, there was no direction until plans for the battery sector were announced, despite the aluminum smelter.

“The first time I came to this park in Begancore was with Donald Martel,” says the Prime Minister, adding that Mr. Legault shares. He told me “Francois, this is our biggest industrial park in Canada, but no cat, no business, no room there today.”

“The next battery factories are sure to be somewhere other than Pekankore,” he continues. We are going to install them wherever we have space in Quebec.

With GM starting construction over the winter and Ford and Nemaska ​​Lithium springing up, creating more than 1,000 direct jobs, it’s now a real race.

The municipality of 14,700 people needs to prepare for 3,000 to 5,000 workers within 7 years.

“Many projects are already underway,” promises Beaconcore Mayor Lucy Allard. A new school is also planned for the neighborhood and school expansions are also on the drawing board. The main project we are working on is a secondary school, which will be established in an industrial park.

The municipality aims to prevent it from becoming a resort town.

Watch the full report in the video above.

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