The Premier of Québec and the First Vice‑President of Government and Minister of the Economy of Spain inaugurate Interquisa Canada’s first North American petrochemical plant
An investment of over $700 million
Montréal, November 19, 2003 - The Premier of Québec, Mr. Jean Charest, today inaugurated Interquisa Canada’s first North American petrochemical plant, built in the industrial zone of East End Montréal. Mr. Charest was accompanied by Messrs. Rodrigo Rato, First Vice-President and Minister of Economy of Spain, Michel Audet, Québec Minister of Economic and Regional Development, the Honourable Claude Drouin, Secretary of State, Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montréal, and Carlos Pérez de Bricio, Chairman of the Board of Directors and President and Chief Executive Officer of Compaña Española de Petróleos, S.A. (CEPSA).
Jean Charest expressed great satisfaction with this major investment and is looking forward to more economic exchanges between Québec and Spain. “We intend to provide Québec and foreign corporations with a favorable economic environment in order to support their development on the global markets or their setting-up in Québec,” said the Premier.
In operation since September 2003, the Interquisa Canada plant specializes in the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA). The current facilities are capable of generating 500,000 metric tonnes of this type of acid per year, one of the world’s top production capacities. PTA serves as a raw material in the manufacturing of many recyclable plastic products, such as soft drink containers; polyester film for audio and video tapes; and synthetic resins used in various types of paints and textiles.
Jointly owned by Interquisa, a subsidiary of the Spanish group CEPSA, and Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF), Interquisa Canada represents an investment of over $800 million and ranks among the three largest industrial projects deployed in Québec in the past few years.
This major investment was also made possible through the financial participation of Investissement Québec. The public corporation contributed $50 million under the FAIRE program. This investment is proof of Investissement Québec’s commitment to play a role in the development of the Québec petrochemical industry and undoubtedly represents an advantage in attracting new investors to this sector.
CEPSA has chosen Québec as the location for its first petrochemical plant outside of Europe, particularly because it could count on reliable partners with whom the company has already worked in the past. CEPSA had entered into its first partnership with SGF in 1993, which led to the creation of Petresa Canada, in Bécancour. Since 1995, this industrial complex produces linear alkylbenzene used in the manufacturing of biodegradable detergents.
During the 18 months required for design and construction, this 200,000-square-metre site required over 2.7 million hours of work. During the peak period, nearly 1,300 construction workers were employed on the site. The marketing of the plant’s products on the North American market has created 140 direct jobs and allowed the reopening of the Coastal plant, specializing in the production of paraxylene, the raw material of PTA.
“Setting up this new Interquisa plant in the Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles-Montréal-Est borough acknowledges an almost historical partnership between this industrial zone – one of the longest-standing in the region – and the international economic sector of chemical processing industries,” said the Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay. “Through joining the 300 industries in this borough, Interquisa Canada adds a new, dynamic element in the East side of Montréal, and reaffirms the international positioning of the industrial sector in this area,” concluded Mayor Tremblay.
“We have established excellent relations with Canada and especially with Québec, which are growing stronger day by day and which have given rise to large-scale projects and a particularly productive collaboration with SGF,” said Carlos Perez de Bricio, President of the CEPSA Group. “We are especially proud to note that the Interquisa Canada plant is the driving force of the industrial recovery of the petrochemical sector in Québec, not only for what it involves in terms of construction hours, but for its scope and its indirect contribution to the economic environment,” he concluded.
Compliance with environmental standards
Interquisa Canada has adopted strict environmental standards to go beyond those in force. Since the beginning of the environmental impact study, the company has sought to involve and inform the community through a rigorous public consultation process. The community’s contribution continued throughout the process leading to the granting of permits and authorizations. The conclusions of the study revealed that all air quality criteria intended to protect health are being observed.
Interquisa has specialized in PTA production for over 25 years. Its facilities in San Roque, Spain currently produce PTA, purified isophthalic acid and dimethyl terephthalate. The Interquisa Canada plant in Montréal is the first production facility established outside of Europe by the CEPSA Group, an operation that strengthens its position in the global market.
About the Cepsa Group
CEPSA operates in the refining and petrochemical market since 1929. Heading an industrial group with sales of $16.5 billion, assets of about $7 billion and 9,500 employees, CEPSA enjoys a privileged position on the Spanish and international markets. Two of its leading petrochemical companies (Petresa and Interquisa Canada) have been established in Québec in partnership with SGF to break into the NAFTA market. (www.cepsa.es)