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FerroAtlantica to invest $375M in Quebec plant

Spanish company cites inducements as discounted hydroelectricity rates and a 10-year tax holiday.


January 23, 2014
by CANADIAN PRESS

DAVOS, Switzerland — Spanish company FerroAtlantica, which bills itself as the world’s largest producer of silicon metal, will be setting up shop in Quebec, investing $375 million and creating 300 jobs.

“Very favourable” conditions attracted the company to Quebec, said Pedro Larrea, the company’s director general. These include discounted rates for hydroelectricity and a 10-year tax holiday.

“The future of FerroAtlantica today is in Quebec,” said Larrea. “There is an understanding of our problems and a solution to our problems – electricity solutions and financial solutions.”

The energy rebate risks upsetting other companies. Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa, for example, has threatened to close three of its plants in Quebec by 2015 if it doesn’t get a cheaper rate.

“We will tell them that FerroAtlantica invested $375 million and so maybe establishing new industrial installations justifies an electricity discount,” Quebec premier Pauline Marois said.

The province’s investment arm is also interested in contributing between five and 10 per cent to the project.

The site of FerroAtlantica’s plant has not yet been chosen.

Silicon metal is used in the auto industry, high-performance concrete and solar panels.

© 2014 The Canadian Press