By Nancy Kelly
The recently-announced $73 million investment project at Michelin’s Waterville truck tire facility is “great news for the Valley and the province,” says Premier Darrell Dexter.
Dexter, along with Dana Leblanc, president of Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., shared details of the investment on Jan. 17 at the Waterville facility. Michelin will invest $64.1 million to expand the Valley plant as part of the $73-million project. The investment is expected to create 50 new jobs while allowing the company to improve and expand its production of tire products.
The province, meanwhile, will invest up to $8.9 million in jobs created by the project under the Nova Scotia Jobs Fund, which pursues new economic and investment opportunities.
“We are pleased to be involved in the creation of these new jobs that will make for livelier communities and contribute to the economic success of the region, and pleased that (Michelin) has chosen yet again to grow here,” said Dexter, who added his government supports companies that invest in Nova Scotia to ensure they can compete globally.
“It will lead to further re-investment in the province.”
A host of provincial and local politicians were on hand for the announcement. Kings County Warden Diana Brothers credited the expansion for its potential to create “high-value jobs in our rural municipality that will help families and young people continue to prosper."
LeBlanc pointed out Michelin is pleased with its “long-standing partnership with the provincial government” while being proud of its over 40-year history of manufacturing in the province.
The Waterville plant celebrated 30 years of manufacturing in 2012. Its employees are among 3,500 employed by Michelin at the Valley plant and production sites in Bridgewater and Granton, Pictou County.
Dexter was expected at the Waterville facility last summer to unveil a Nova Scotia Jobs Fund announcement, but neither the visit nor the announcement came to pass. According to Michelin public affairs, the Jan. 17 announcement was not connected to the postponed summer event.
Last year, Michelin requested the municipality consider relocating the Waterville Airport to make way for a possible expansion of the Waterville tire plant, which is located adjacent to the airport’s 90-acre property. The provincially-funded study was completed last fall, but details have yet to be released publicly.
Michelin awarded federal contract
West Nova MP Greg Kerr announced a significant subcontract Jan. 18 that will play an important role in providing the Canadian Army with a new and improved fleet of Light Armoured Vehicles III.
Michelin's Waterville plant has been awarded this $3.27 million subcontract by General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada as part of the $1 billion Light Armoured Vehicle III Upgrade Project.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued support of our brave men and women in uniform and skilled Canadian workers – including right here in Waterville,” said Kerr. “Our investments will provide our troops with the modern equipment they need to conduct their missions safely and effectively for many decades to come.”
The Light Armoured Vehicle III Upgrade Project will modernize 550 vehicles in the existing fleet, extending the lifespan of the Light Armoured Vehicle III to 2035.
Michelin will be providing 3,500 395/85 R20 XML tires for the project, which is designed to enhance the mobility of the vehicle and perform in a variety of terrains and battlefield conditions. The subcontract is being placed through Hutchinson Industries, Inc. who are providing the wheel assemblies for the Light Armoured Vehicle III Upgrade Project.