Entering a world of giants
Construction of the new McInnis Cement plant is now underway on the Gaspe Peninsula at Port-Daniel, Quebec, on the east coast of Canada. After commissioning at the end of 2016, the 2.2Mta plant will serve the domestic market and aims to export half of its production to the United States, via its own maritime terminal. Funded in part by government loans, the new company has faced criticism of unfair financial assistance and spirited opposition from the incumbent players. In this exclusive interview with ICR, Christian Gagnon, CEO of McInnis Cement, refutes these claims and explains the compelling rationale for the creation of this new world-class facility.
ICR: How did McInnis Cement come to be formed and who are the main shareholders?
Christian Gagnon (CG): The company in its current form was established by a group of people that acquired the project, known as Cimbec, at the end of 2011.
Cimbec is a project that had been started by a small group of promoters at the beginning of the ‘90s, led by a gentleman by the name of Guy Rousseau. The ambition at that time was to build a cement company and plant, located in Port-Daniel-Gascons. Through the early ‘90s they acquired the land, prepared the project and submitted it to a permit application to construct the project. They started building in the mid-‘90s but without solid financial support. So they had to more or less suspend the project at the very end of the ‘90s.
At the beginning of 2011, the project finally received some interest from Beaudier, the investment arm of the Beaudoin-Bombardier family [the Canadian Aerospace and Transportation group], who have the controlling majority in the project nowadays.