The Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses des centrales énergie électrique nord de Rio Tinto has come out against the Town of Alma’s awarding of a block of 4.99 MW of hydroelectricity to a company wishing to get involved in cryptocurrency mining.

Jean-Philippe Lévesque, the President of STEEN, appeared in person before town council to read a letter addressed to elected officials, urging them to reconsider this surprising decision made during a worldwide energy crisis.

“With the energy transition that has driven up clean electricity requirements and highlighted the need for decarbonization measures, energy capacity forecasts for the next few decades in the province paint a rather alarming picture. From one year to the next, energy surpluses will continue to melt away at an alarming rate,” says Lévesque.

Despite increased electricity requirements, Hydro-Québec recently chose to stop supplying the energy-intensive cryptocurrency sector to give itself more leeway. H-Q is also planning to purchase electricity on the market starting in 2026-2027 to meet domestic demand.

Aside from the municipal tax revenue from the building that houses the cryptocurrency company and the profit from the electricity sale, little additional wealth will accrue to the community, and almost no new jobs will be created.

“Our electricity is invaluable, and we must save it, not to boost the aluminum market in the region but especially and primarily to benefit and support sustainable development with projects that bring people together and produce real value-adds for the municipality and for the region,” says Lévesque.

Read the letter from STEEN (in French only)