The first « Commission de développements industriels de Val-d’Or Inc. » was incorporated on May 24, 1967. The first administrators were :
Wilfrid Sabourin – president, | J. Armand Brassard, ing. – vice-president | Gilbert Bossé, insurance agent – treasurer | Roger Roy, pharmacist – administrator | Claude Bienvenu, industrial – administrator | Jean-Paul Bérubé, industrial – administ. | Florent Houde, industrial – administrator | John-Mark Ferderber, industrial – adm. | Léo Vanasse – administrator
On April 11, 1973 the « Commission » becomes the « Corporation de développement industriel et commercial de la région de Val-d’Or ». Namely in English : « Industrial Promotion Corporation of Greater Val-d’Or »
[section_title heading=”h2″]Evolution of the industrial park [/section_title]
(Source : Société d’histoire de Val-d’Or)
A request was made by the « Commission de développements industriels » and the Town of Val-d’Or to the Department of Land and Forestry to obtain and secure forestry resources in lieu of implementing a wood panel production plant. The government announces in August 1969 the agreement to allocate to the region of Val-d’Or its reserved forestry land.
The Forex Group implements its business in the industrial park of Val-d’Or. The Cossette brothers, originally from Barraute, decide to build a saw mill plant, with planing and drying facilities in the industrial park. In 1975, a new company is formed to manufacture an end-product made of fibreboard. The plant owned by the Forex-Leroy Company is built at a cost of 75 M$.
The Julien brothers and 15 industrial leaders create « Les Maisons Quebco », a company specialized in the construction of prefabricated houses.
Panofor starts the fabrication of panels made of wood particles and binding agent aggregates. On September 7, 1982, an association is made with the Industrial Research Center of Québec in order to develop a soundproofing device for the circular saw equipment.
Forex-Leroy changes its name in February 1986 to become Forpan. An announcement is made in January 1986 for the construction project of a new resin/formaldehyde manufacturing plant. A first investment of 11 M$ is made and followed by a modernisation project of 20M$. Forpan becomes the main industrial motor of the industrial park of Val-d’Or. Eventually, Forpan and Unires are acquired by Uniboard Canada.
Domtar acquires in 1989 the sawmill complex built by Forex in 1972, namely a sawmill plant with cutting and planning facilities. The plant counts two production schedules, two drying facilities and one planing plant.
Today, the industrial park of Val-d’Or counts more than 175 companies made up of approximately 4000 employees. The entrepreneurs have diversified their offer of products and services dedicated in servicing both the mining and forest industries and more. Here are a few of the main companies in the Val-d’Or industrial park: Orbit-Garant Drilling with 600 employees, CMAC-Thyssen with 600 employees, Uniboard/Unires with 170 employees, Eacom 125 employees in the plant and 100 in the forest.
Photos; courtesy of Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Val-d’Or.