La Tuque, January 31, 2022

Press Release

Studies related to Trenche facility refurbishment to begin

Hydro-Québec is undertaking the studies associated with the draft-design phase of the Trenche facility refurbishment project, which will continue until 2024. The facility is located on the Rivière Saint-Maurice in Haute-Mauricie. Some preliminary work will follow, in particular civil engineering. The project’s main goal is to increase the Trenche facility’s service life while ensuring electricity generation, public safety and regulation of the flow of the Rivière Saint-Maurice.

Trenche facility, Hydro-Québec.

“This generating station is the largest generation facility in the Mauricie region,” noted Jean Matte, Acting Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President – Generation, Health, Safety and Environment. “The refurbishment of the six generating units will increase the installed capacity by 48 MW, without changing how the Rivière Saint-Maurice is managed.”

Preparatory studies and work: 2021 to 2024

“The draft-design phase will ensure that all the conditions to guarantee the success of the refurbishment—planned for 2026—will be met, following approval by Hydro-Québec management. The teams currently deployed at Rapide-Blanc will contribute to these key steps to ensure the work proceeds smoothly,” added Carl Morin, Manager – Generation Facility Projects in the Mauricie region.

The draft-design phase aims mainly to:

  • Coordinate all resources and studies required to define the technical content, constraints, permitting requirements and impacts on the biophysical and host environment
  • Conduct field tests
  • Develop project execution strategies
  • Identify and manage risks
  • Plan and develop project estimates
  • Consult local and Indigenous communities so that the best and most socially acceptable decisions are made

The top priority will be to carry out the work in compliance with health and safety standards while minimizing the impact on the facility’s operation.

 In addition to Hydro-Québec’s teams, an engineering firm, laboratories and specialized contractors will also be called upon to carry out these activities. Structural, mechanical, control, electrical equipment, hydraulic, hydrological, geological, geotechnical, construction method, materials, environmental and health and safety engineers, technicians and specialists will supervise the work.

Expected impacts

Although the draft-design phase should not affect river water management, it is important to remember that the facility also represents a road link leading to Rapide-Blanc generating station as well as to several vacation sites. During the studies, the road link will be closed to all traffic for short periods. Communication and signage will be put in place to inform users to plan their travel accordingly. We encourage road link users to subscribe to the Info-Project newsletter to receive information on the work being conducted in the area.

Listening to communities

As part of its projects, Hydro-Québec implements public participation programs to maintain an ongoing dialogue with host communities, various community groups and users of the territory. Meetings will take place with representatives from La Tuque and Wemotaci, or with people who could be directly affected by the work, to ensure that the best and most socially acceptable decisions are made.

“With the information gathered from studies and tests, we will consult those directly affected in various ways in order to establish the best strategies to complete the project and which mitigation measures should be implemented. The input received will allow us to propose various initiatives relative to identified concerns and issues and adjust the project from a technical, environmental and social perspective,” added Caroline Belley, Manager – Projects.

“I applaud Hydro-Québec’s respectful approach to working with communities during this phase of preliminary project studies. The refurbishment of the Trenche facility is part of the Government of Quebec’s green energy development strategy. Let us recall here the importance of developing renewable energy sources as we move towards the electrification of our economy,” said Marie-Louise Tardif, Member of Parliament for Laviolette–Saint-Maurice.

“The refurbishment of the facility will help us meet the needs of future generations with clean, renewable and reliable energy. In the scenarios being studied, we also want to increase the evacuation capacity for the passage of a probable maximum flood in the spring to take climate change into account,” concluded Jean Matte.

Information on the Trenche facility

Trenche generating station, located in La Tuque on the Rivière Saint-Maurice between Rapide-Blanc and Beaumont generating stations, was commissioned in the 1950s. It is made up of six generating units and the drop in water levels is 48.7 m. With its installed capacity of 302 MW, the generating station supplies about 109,000 homes. Once refurbished, the installed capacity will be 350 MW, which is equivalent to the energy used by 126,000 homes.

For more information, go to .


Élisabeth Gladu
Tel.: 819 378-4581, ext. 3052

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