Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.
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28 • March 2014 www.concreteproducts.com Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and business leaders convened in late-January to outline a financial structure for an export-driven start up, McInnis Cement. The company will commence spring 2014 construction of a "shovel ready," $1 billion project: An advanced portland cement mill with ultimate annual capacity upward of 2.5 million tonnes (2.75 million tons), plus marine terminal equipped to load 2,000 tonnes (2,200 tons)/hour. Assembling near an extraordinary 850-acre greenfeld in Port-Dan- iel-Gascons—located in the province's eastern reaches—the govern- ment and business leaders capped permitting, environmental review and fnancing measures for what is poised to be the decade's most ambitious cement capacity undertaking in North America. McInnis Cement offcials plan a two-year construction phase, initial powder deliveries projected by summer of 2016. Along with preliminary site work this spring, they intend to announce major construction and equipment contracts by mid-year. The project leader is Beaudier Inc., the investment arm of the Beaudoin family, a majority shareholder in two of Quebec's preem- inent corporate brands: Bombardier (business and commercial air- craft, and trains) and Bombardier Recreational Products (Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Can-Am). "For more than two years, Beaudier has in- vested its time, energy and resources to ensure the McInnis Cement plant goes ahead," said Beaudier Chairman Laurent Beaudoin. "A partnership with experienced private investors, public pension fund and the Quebec government will allow it to go forward." Leading the equity side, Beaudier is teamed with pension fund La Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec through a $100 million stake, matched by a natural re- source development-geared fund within the Quebec government's investment arm. "The McInnis Ce- ment project is fully aligned with the international export activity that remains the driving force of Quebec economic growth," noted the pension fund's CEO Michael Sabia. "I am convinced that with the excellent management team recruited by Beaudier and U.S. market proximity, this project is a sound investment." Financing is completed through a guaranteed loan structure of senior debt from a National Bank of Canada-led banking syndicate, plus junior debt in the form of a $250 mil- lion Quebec government loan at a 3 percent premium rate over the senior debt. PRIME LOGISTICS Port-Daniel-Gascons' location along a Gulf of St. Lawrence inlet affords a load out operation to dispatch deep-water cement vessels through the St. Lawrence Seaway or down the Atlantic Coast with two to four days' "ship time" to existing eastern Great Lakes, New England and Mid-Atlantic terminals, plus additional distribution facilities cen- tral to the McInnis Cement business plan. "The location will make us highly competitive in the East Coast and Canadian markets," affrms CEO Christian Gagnon, whose track record has spanned Lafarge Group mill expansions and greenfeld projects from British Columbia to Greece. "One of our main selling points is that we are not importers. We have a model similar to legacy Great Lakes cement mills that were remotely located but capable of serving multiple big markets. "Port-Daniel-Gascons is excellent in all regards: Good virgin ma- terial and power sources for cement production. Strong local com- munity support and labor force. And, a location capable of serving captive terminals in a market radius with approximately 30 million tons of clinker capacity." "Many concrete producers and contractors in Northeast and Great Lakes markets are sourcing cement from dated mills," adds Senior Vice President, Commercial and Logistics Jim Braselton, who joined McInnis following a long Lafarge North America tenure in cement and cementitious materials sales and marketing. "Nearly 25 million tons of the capacity in our market radius is from plants 50 years or older. When weighing the aged mill factor, along with projected growth in U.S. cement consumption, and uncertainty surrounding overseas imports, buyers will need to reevaluate supply chains over the next three to fve years." FEATURE PRODUCERS Northeast Newcomer McInnis Cement orients greenfield plant to broad Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast market footprint By Don Marsh Continued on page 30 Convening in Montreal are (from left) McInnis Cement Senior Vice President, Commercial & Logistics Jim Braselton, Chief Executive Offcer Christian Gagnon and Senior Vice President, Operations Gaetan Vezina. Concrete Products March 2014.indd 28 2/17/2014 1:58:06 PM