Bécancour, December 14, 2015 – In the name of IFFCO Canada shareholders, La Coop fédérée announces that the urea production plant project at Bécancour is being put on hold until favourable economic conditions prevail including an increase in urea pricing which is currently in a low pricing cycle worldwide. As in many other resource sectors, current market conditions are unfavourable for completing the financing required, and this is disrupting the scheduled start of construction. Urea prices are at their lowest level in five years and as a consequence, investors are being prudent. The promoters and investors believe that the world class project remains fundamentally viable, and that the support of the government of Québec and major institutional partners remains solid. The same goes for the unwavering support of local actors and authorities who are still in favour of such a cutting-edge facility in the Bécancour Industrial Park & Port Facility.
Not the end of the project
The promoters believe that the future Bécancour plant will still fill a major need in Québec and Canadian agricultural markets, indeed more than ever in today’s turbulent geopolitical environment. La Coop fédérée and IFFCO remain convinced that the project is soundly based. “We are halting the project; as a result of the current poor rates for urea that is blocking the promoters and investors from attaining the plant’s anticipated profitability. We are waiting for the cyclical low point in the price of urea to end, which we expect will allow resumption of the project. In the interim, we continue to work on developing the project and preparing for its relaunch,” declared IFFCO Canada Director General, Claude Lafleur. “It should be remembered that this is one of the largest industrial projects in recent years in Québec. Important steps have already been taken since we resumed in June 2015”, added Claude Lafleur.
IFFCO Canada will be keeping its offices in both Montréal and Bécancour open. The usual corporate contacts will remain the same. Please note that no interviews will be given or comments made following publication of this press release.
About La Coop fédérée
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food organization in Quebec. It is owned by over 100,000 members grouped into 98 cooperatives located in several Canadian provinces, and it is present throughout the agri-food chain. As well as being a wholesaler, La Coop fédérée provides agricultural producers with all the goods and services required for their farming operations. Its activities are separated into three divisions: agriculture (animal and vegetable production and grain marketing under the brands Elite and La Coop), retail and innovation (energy, hardware and agricultural machinery, under the brands Sonic, Unimat and BMR) and meat (under the brands Olymel, Flamingo and Lafleur). Including its affiliated cooperatives, La Coop fédérée employs more than 16,000 people with sales totaling $9.1 B.
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Ben Marc Diendéré
Senior Vice-President, Communications & Public Affairs, La Coop fédérée
Regional communications Officer, IFFCO Canada
Office: 819 602 0302
Cell: 819 269 3947