MONTREAL, April 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Gaz Métro today announced the signing
of an important agreement with Les Sables Olimag inc. (Sables Olimag), the most important producer of non-toxic abrasives for
sand blasting in Eastern Canada, thus marking a step forward toward
extending the natural gas distribution network to Thetford Mines. The
contract with Sables Olimag represents a major portion of the volume of
natural gas needed for Gaz Métro to obtain authorization from the Régie
de l'énergie for its project to extend its distribution network by
72-km at an estimated cost of $24.7 million. The Thetford Mines
community's long hoped-for project will become a reality in fall 2012,
with the help of a financial contribution of more than $18 million from
the federal Government, and the leadership of the Comité de réalisation
du gazoduc Vallée-Jonction/Thetford.
"The Comité de réalisation du gazoduc Vallée-Jonction/Thetford has been
working for more than 15 years to attract natural gas to our region.
Its arrival will be a significant stimulus for economic development,"
said Luc Berthold, Mayor of Thetford Mines.
"As well as resolving our waste oil supply problem, natural gas will
help us save 10%-15% of our energy costs and reduce our greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions by 19%," confirmed Claude Gosselin, President of Sables
Sables Olimag has signed a five-year contract with Gaz Métro for five
million cubic metres of natural gas per year.
"The arrival of natural gas is an asset for preserving and improving the
competitiveness of companies in the region and also for maintaining
hundreds of jobs," added Luc Rémillard, Director General of the Société
de développement économique de la région de Thetford.
Procedure for obtaining approval from the Régie de l'énergie
In order for the Régie de l'énergie to authorize the expenses related to
the cost of extending its distribution network, Gaz Métro has to obtain
commitments from customers for a specific volume. The contract with
Sables Olimag is a first step toward reaching that regulatory
"Our teams began discussions with several companies in the region some
weeks ago. The collaboration of all the players in the region is
essential to realize the project for which the community has worked so
hard," said Jean Cartier, Senior Director, Sales, at Gaz Métro.
Following approval by the Régie de l'énergie of the investment required,
Gaz Métro will move onto the planning and construction stages.
Commissioning is expected at the end of 2012. As it does for all its
projects, Gaz Métro will ensure that permits and authorizations are
obtained in order to meet environmental, legal and regulatory
requirements. The preliminary route proposed will minimize
environmental and agricultural impacts, while respecting project
About Sables Olimag
Sables Olimag is the most important producer of non-toxic abrasives in
Eastern Canada. It also produces refractory sand and supplies steel
mills in eight countries. It has just perfected a non-toxic,
pro-environmental grout mix for geothermal use.
Gaz Métro in brief
With over $3.6 billion in assets, Gaz Métro is the major natural gas
distributor in Québec. Operating in this regulated sector for more than
50 years, Gaz Métro has become the trusted energy supplier for some
182,000 customers in Québec and 136,000 customers in Vermont, and has
acquired the know-how and skills needed to diversify its activities
beyond natural gas. In line with its prudent growth strategy, Gaz Métro
has made a successful entry into the electricity distribution market in
Vermont and into the development of wind energy projects in Québec. Gaz
Métro is dedicated to satisfying its customers, partners, employees,
and the communities where it operates. www.gazmetro.com
SOURCE GAZ METRO
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