Homemade bombs found under machinery at Quebec construction site: company

Swedish manufacturer Northvolt says it was once again targeted by vandals at the site of its future electric vehicle battery megaplant outside Montreal.The company’s North American CEO, Paulo Cerruti, called for a press conference Monday afternoon to denounce what he says are “recent acts of vandalism that seriously endanger Northvolt employees and partners.”In a press release, Cerruti said in French that homemade bombs placed under some machinery over the weekend were discovered by a Northvolt team Monday morning.

Cerruti later described the devices as Molotov cocktails, explaining they were filled with flammable liquid and connected to a trigger mechanism.“Fortunately the devices didn’t go off so there is no damage,” he told reporters on the site which straddles the municipalities of McMasterville and Saint-Balsile-Le-Grand.

Cerruti claims the devices were placed there with “the intent of injuring our workers and to presumably slow down our operations.”“We condemn this act in the most firm way.” he said. “The first thought went to our employees and to the firms that are working with us.“Here at the site, their safety is our utmost priority and will continue to be our utmost priority.”

A not-for-profit that has been working with Northvolt was also targeted Friday night.
Maxime Boudreau of the Centre de Valorisation du bois Urbain (CVBU) said its offices were broken into and everything was sprayed with brown paint.“The floors, the ceilings, the chairs, everything,” he said. “It’s discouraging to see this kind of action against a social economy company.”

CVBU reclaims felled wood from Quebec municipalities and transforms the wood into value-added products to benefit the community.Bourdeau said CVBU has been working closely with Northvolt, having been hired to cut trees to prep the land ahead of construction.While there was no note left at CVBU offices linking the vandalism to its association with Northvolt, the timing of the incident is “suspicious,” Bourdeau said.

Boudreau said he’s proud of the work that’s been accomplished and the amount of wood that was reclaimed.

The construction of the plant has drawn a lot of criticism and opposition  environmental groups and the Mohawk community who say it is being built on environmentally sensitive land without being subject to a proper environmental assessment process, including full public consultations under the BAPE — the province’s Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement.

Cerruti said Northvolt did not have a message for the individual or individuals involved in the incident and that it would not “engage” with them.Northvolt is open to discussing with groups who express their concerns, Cerruti said, but he expects “a basic set of values and civil behaviour” as paramount to any discussion.

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