On September 30, 2014, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard, jointly with the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister Responsible for the Northern Plan, Mr. Pierre Arcand, the Minister for Transport and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy, Mr. Jean d’Amour, and Mrs. Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro, the principal distributor of natural gas in Québec, announced an investment by Investissment Québec of $50M in the share capital of the Gaz Métro subsidiary responsible for marketing liquefied natural gas (“LNG”), Gaz Métro LNG. According to the media, this investment represents a 42% stake in Gaz Métro LNG.
These funds will enable Gaz Métro LNG to increase its LNG offer through the addition of an LNG train to its eastern Montreal plant.
This increase in production will in turn facilitate access to LNG for several companies based in remote locations such as the Côte-Nord region and the North of Québec. The government also hopes that the availability of greener fuel will encourage companies in the transportation and mining industries to pursue commercial activities in Northern Quebec considering the potential gains in profitability and competitiveness. Apparently, several companies have already confirmed their interest in acquiring LNG. According to Gaz Métro, Stornoway Diamonds is expected to become a LNG client and the first mining company to use LNG.
Ultimately, this announcement falls in line with the government’s commitment to stimulate Québec’s northern economic and sustainable development announced in the latest budget. The total estimated cost of the Project amounts to close to $118M. Work for the project should start in May 2015 with an estimated completion date of June 2016.