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Proponents of a urea and methanol project in Becancour, Que., are throwing in the towel because of their inability to obtain fixed construction costs. announced “the abandonment of its project” late Monday afternoon in a bid to reduce risks, explaining that the company has been unable to negotiate a fixed price with its suppliers of engineering services and construction.

The decision was made by mutual agreement among all promoters, said a news release.

The partners are part of the consortium called Entreprise IFFCO Canada Ltd., composed of La Coop federee, Investissement Quebec and IFFCO, which owns 50 per cent of the shares. The other half belongs to Developpement Nauticol Quebec Ltd.

This project is some seven years old, having been first announced by the Parti Quebecois government in 2012. The plan was to build a fertilizer plant in 2014. Over time, however, costs went up from $1.2-billion to more than $2-billion, which encouraged the original promoters to put the project on hold in 2015.

It was then relaunched in a new form in 2017, adding the production of methanol to that of urea. At the time, proponents claimed that the plant could create up to 200 direct jobs.

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