Nearly $6.9M for a high-purity aluminum production plant

News release

Major investment in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean

Saguenay, June 17, 2019 – The governments of Canada and Quebec are providing a total of nearly $6.9 million in financial assistance to Nature Alu Inc. for the establishment of a high-purity aluminum production plant. This project, with a total investment of more than $15 million, will create 14 jobs in Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean.

Ms. Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister responsible for the Saguenay−Lac-Saint-Jean region, on behalf of the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, and the Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, Mr. Richard Hébert, on behalf of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), the Honourable Navdeep Bains, made the announcement today.

The plant located in the district of La Baie will produce between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes of high-purity aluminum metal (99.9%) annually for export to the electronics, chemistry and specialty alloy markets.

The Government of Quebec provided Nature Alu Inc. with a loan of $3M from the ESSOR program, and $1.5M comes from Investissement Québec’s own funds. The Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing provided $500,000 in funding through the Regional Outreach Fund. The Department of Economy and Innovation provided $27,000 in financial support through the Export Program (PEX).

The Government of Canada is providing a repayable contribution of $1.5 million through CED’s Quebec Economic Development Program and $330,000 through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

Quotes

“Products made in this factory will stand out from international competition for their finer composition and the lowest carbon footprint in the world. My fellow MNAs Nancy Guillemette, François Tremblay and Éric Girard, and I, welcome this structuring project, which will definitely help better position Saguenay‑Lac-Saint-Jean and all of Quebec in the innovative niche of aluminum processing.”

Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister responsible for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region

“The Government of Quebec’s contribution in support of Nature Alu’s initiative will certainly generate significant benefits for all of Quebec. Aluminum is a strategic industry for our economy, and Quebec needs innovative companies like Nature Alu to excel at the international level. This financial support will enable the company to carve out a place among the leaders of the Quebec aluminum industry.” 

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation

“The establishment of a structuring firm in the region contributes to the strategic positioning of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Quebec as a technological cluster for aluminum processing. This initiative, which we enthusiastically support, is a great example of the dynamism and innovation that characterizes the region.”

Richard Hébert, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Businesses and Export Promotion

“In order to increase the quality and boost the impact of our programs that support innovation, it is crucial for the Government of Canada to support technology transfer and entrepreneurship. The funding announced today reflects our desire to support innovative projects that go hand in hand with economic growth and sustainable development.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CED

“The establishment of a high-purity aluminum smelter in Saguenay will boost our city’s economy and strategically position our region on a global scale. Over the years, the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region has developed its knowledge of aluminum, and today it is known for its unparalleled expertise and skilled workforce. I am extremely pleased with the new, high-quality jobs that this project will create in our region.”

Josée Néron, Mayor of Saguenay

“The big challenge for entrepreneurs is to move from design to marketing. By providing them with effective financial tools and levers, Investissement Québec is able to help these entrepreneurs get their business project off the ground and build a solid foundation for growth. In all its regions, Quebec has tremendous entrepreneurial potential that must be harnessed. With IQ’s investment, Nature Alu is acquiring the tools it needs to move to a new stage in its development, and we are proud to contribute to this process.” 

Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec

“Our business plan involves buying aluminum of the highest purity produced in aluminum smelters and refining it using our process to levels ranging up to 4N+ (99.99%+), a niche product that we then sell in our target markets around the world in 7 kg ingots, 700 to 800 kg pig ingots and even in small rolling ingots.”   

Denis Mazerolle, President of Nature Alu Inc.

Quick facts

  • The ESSOR program (website in French only) aims to support investment projects carried out in Quebec with a view to increased competitiveness and productivity, job creation and sustainable development.

  • FARR (website in French only) enables municipal and regional elected officials to develop and support structuring projects that will help maximize community development. The objective is to support the government’s strategy to ensure the occupation and vitality of the territories.

  • The goal of the PEX program (website in French only) is to make Quebec businesses aware of the growth potential of exports and to support them in developing and diversifying foreign markets.

  • CED is one of the six regional development agencies under the responsibility of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

  • For more information about CED and its priorities, see the 2019-2020 Departmental Plan or visit www.dec-ced.gc.ca.

  • For more than 70 years, the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program has been stimulating economic growth in Canada by providing funding and advisory services to small and medium-sized enterprises so that they can grow, strengthen their innovation capacity and commercialize their ideas.

Contacts

Bénédicte Trottier-Lavoie
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
and Minister responsible for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region

Phone: 418 691-2050

Mathieu St-Amand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economy
and Innovation and Minister Responsible
for the Lanaudière Region 
Phone: 418 691-5650

Information:

Media Relations Team
Communications Branch, Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Phone: 418-691-2015 ext. 3746

Jean-Pierre D’Auteuil
Media Relations Officer
Communications Branch
Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation
Phone: 418-691-5698 ext. 4868
Cell : 418 559-0710

Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
Phone: 514 283-7443
Email: dec.media.ced@canada.ca


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