BECANCOUR, Que.—Two organizations are stressing they are not abandoning plans to build a massive fertilizer plant in Quebec, but rather are taking “an essential strategic pause” to review the project and seek new partners.
The plant, slated for Becancour near Trois-Rivieres, Que., received approval from the province in April.
But as construction cost rise—they are now estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $2 billion—IFFCO Canada Enterprise Ltd. and project shareholder shareholder La Coop federee have suspended further preliminary planning and the signing of the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal to “allow the shareholders to review the global strategy of financing, construction and execution.”
IFFCO stressed in a release issued to announced the pause that it was not abandoning the planned project, but that it requires a new approach to ensure its realization and viability.”
The company went on to say that it will focus over the coming months on searching for new partners for the project that is slated to produce between 1.3- and 1.6 million tonnes of granular urea for the fertilizer market, and 760,000 tonnes of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) annually.
“I have seen for myself that there is interest in the project in the region,” IFFCO chief executive Manish Gupta said in the release. “We have gone through numerous steps at a fast pace to date, and now we need to refocus the project to ensure its viability in the medium- and long-term.”
IFFCO and La Coop said they “remain convinced of the value of the project’s major assets,” including the quality and location of the selected site in the Becancour industrial park.
Market conditions are also favourable, the organizations said.
“We believe that our future fertilizer plant at Becancour answers a need in the market and that’s why we are moving forward to bring in new partners who will ensure the project’s success,” La Coop chief executive Gaetan Desroches said.