Quebec pays a $2.6 million grant to help Glencore pollute less

Quebec pays a $2.6 million grant to help Glencore pollute less
Quebec pays a $2.6 million grant to help Glencore pollute less

The Legault government has decided to grant a subsidy of nearly $2.6 million to the Swiss giant Glencore, which is nevertheless the subject of strong criticism for the polluting emissions from its Quebec facilities.

• Read also: Horne Foundry emissions: transitional projects that seem to be bearing fruit

• Read also: Air quality in Limoilou: Glencore will have to take corrective measures

The financial support from Quebec, which will be spread over two years, aims to facilitate “the realization of projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of the aid measure for the decarbonization of the Quebec industrial sector” , we read in a decree published Wednesday in the Official Gazette.

The multinational did not wish to say what projects these were.

“The grant is for Glencore Canada, for the use of its three Quebec sites, subject to the cap and trade system for emissions, namely Raglan Mine [au Nunavik]Horne Foundry [à Rouyn-Noranda] and CCR Refinery [à Montréal-Est]», indicated to the Newspaper a spokesperson for the company, Hélène Tellier.

The CCR Montreal-East refinery.

Joël Lemay / QMI Agency

Arsenic in Abitibi

Last year, arsenic emissions from the Horne Foundry averaged 45 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3) while the Quebec standard is 3 ng/m3.

Glencore will have to lower this average to 15 ng/m3 by 2028 and move towards the Quebec standard in the longer term. Remember that industrial establishments that were in operation before June 30, 2011 are not officially subject to the government’s ambient air standards.

To reduce emissions from the Horne Smelter, Glencore is working on a facility modernization project valued at more than $500 million which is currently the subject of a feasibility study.

Glencore is also under the microscope in Quebec. A recent investigation by the Ministry of the Environment concluded that there was a “relationship” between its activities at the port of Quebec and the increase in concentrations of nickel in the air in the Limoilou district, revealed Radio-Canada.

As for the CCR refinery, it is among the 89 companies that benefit from special authorization from Quebec to exceed emissions standards for certain pollutants.

In 2023, Glencore earned net profits of US$4.3 billion on revenues of US$218 billion.

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