Norwegian-owned Stolt LN Gaz will invest nearly $800 million to build a new liquefied natural gas plant in Bécancour, the only one outside the Montreal-area.

The province's environmental review board approved the project back in June, but the official announcement only came today.

Environment Minister David Heurtel says a natural gas supply offers a greener alternative to oil and diesel. 

"This project will lower Quebec's greenhouse gas emissions by increasing access to natural gas for industries which aren't connected to the gas network," he said.

More than 600 people in the Bécancour area lost their jobs after the Marois government announced in 2012 it was shutting down Quebec's only nuclear power plant, Gentilly 2. 

The mayor of Bécancour, Jean-Guy Dubois, said the municipality is, "proud and happy to welcome Stolt in our industrial park."

"It will be a major contributor to the region's economy," he said. 

The company says the construction phase will bring more than 200 jobs to the region. 

It says approximately 100 direct and indirect jobs will be created once the plant is operational.

Local MNA Laurent Lessard says Bécancour is the perfect location for such a project, given it is already connected to a natural gas pipeline and is on the St. Lawrence River. 

Compact transport

Stolt LN Gaz says one cubic metre of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is equivalent to 600 cubic metres of natural gas.

That will translate to increased access to natural gas for mining companies and industries in Northern Quebec, said Pierre Arcand, the minister responsible for the North Shore and for the Plan Nord,

"LNG offers an interesting avenue for the industry's current demands but also to attract new investors since LNG can be transported by truck or ship," he said. 

Stolt LN Gaz says it has signed agreements with Quebec shipping companies Somavrac and Groupe Desgagnés.