Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc says it has furthered its execution readiness for the construction of its Phase-2 commercial facilities, the Matawinie Mine and the Bécancour Battery Material Plant, in Quebec, with the appointment of Pomerleau as Construction Manager for the pre-construction stage.
With sustained engagement from Tier-1 battery manufacturers to sign offtake agreements and confirmed interest from lenders and strategic investors to participate in NMG’s project financing, the company says it is accelerating efforts to refine its execution plan for cost optimisation, procurement and construction at each site ahead of the final investment decision (FID).
Arne H Frandsen, Chair of NMG, declared: “Our strong owner’s team in engineering and project management now paired with experienced construction firm Pomerleau provides depth and technical expertise for refining our execution strategy. Amidst challenging economic conditions, we are seeking strategies to mitigate the expenses and uncertainties associated with complex construction projects to execute our projects responsibly while delivering on our commitment to our customers, community, and shareholders.”
Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President and CEO of NMG, said: “As battery production capacity continues to expand in Québec, North America and Europe, our commercial engagement is shifting from product qualification to execution and operation readiness to optimise our time-to-market window. Potential customers have tested our carbon-neutral active anode material produced at our Phase-1 facilities and are eager to access sizeable volumes to support their manufacturing and growth. Contemplated anchor customers, lenders and investors alike are seeking reassurance on our timeline and flawless execution with safety, environment, and quality as top priorities. We have found in Pomerleau a construction partner that shares our values and is keen to help us bring our vision to reality.”
Pomerleau is a prominent Canada-based construction company specialised in the building, infrastructure and civil, and construction sectors. With a rich history spanning early six decades, Pomerleau boasts a workforce of over 4,000 dedicated employees and operates across more than 200 job sites across Canada with a strong focus on safety, innovation, and sustainability.
Leveraging process development, continuous sample production at Phase-1 facilities, environmental monitoring and management, and extensive site and project studies, NMG has made steady progress over the years toward construction and financing of its Phase-2 Matawinie Mine and Bécancour Battery Material Plant.
The Matawinie Mine has already obtained governmental approval – the main permit for the mining operation – following an exhaustive environmental review and public consultation. Since securing this approval, NMG has carried out preparatory work to build the nearly 8-km access road, construct key environmental infrastructure and execute early civil works. Detailed engineering for the industrial, mining and environmental facilities is also well advanced thanks to continued work with specialised firms AtkinsRéalis, SRK Consulting, and key contractors and equipment vendors. The site is now ready for major civil works including excavation, underground utilities and concrete foundations once FID is reached.
Pomerleau’s mandate covers the pre-construction management of the industrial facilities, namely the concentrator, crusher and associated infrastructure. Pomerleau is working closely with NMG’s project team to prepare a detailed construction sequence and schedule, to develop the contracting strategy, to optimise worksite logistics, to expand the health and safety, environment, and quality programs, and to integrate planning and engineering into building information modelling (BIM), an advanced technology solution supporting enhanced project construction management for improved planning, tracking, project efficiency, productivity, and cost control.
At the Bécancour Battery Material Plant, the pre-construction mandate will build on the environmental studies completed thus far and active engineering work with BBA Inc. Pomerleau’s mandate includes construction scheduling, workforce planning, job site logistics, revision of the procurement strategy, and the development of health and safety, environment and quality programs.
Pomerleau is also contributing to the budget revision, cost optimisation and project control activities for both projects. NMG aims to refine capital expenditure estimates in light of advanced engineering and contemplated offtake agreements, and to reduce its exposure to market volatility and supply chain pressures. Considering that NMG’s integrated feasibility study for its Phase-2 operations was issued in July 2022 at the peak of inflation trends, the company anticipates optimisation of construction forecasts in light of stabilising material costs, technological enhancement to align with customers’ specifications, synergies between the two sites proactive procurement strategy plus Pomerleau’s current construction mandates in the Bécancour industrial work.
Having retained Pomerleau for both projects provides saving opportunities and a harmonised project execution across sites thanks to core team, programs and approach, NMG says, enhancing the integration of engineering, procurement and construction management. NMG will also benefit from Pomerleau’s established pool of workers and specialty subcontractors in preparation for the execution stage.