Brandt buys Saskatoon power generating equipment plant

Tractor maker puts Regina expansion plans on hold

Brandt Industries will buy the Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Canada plant in Saskatoon for an undisclosed sum. (HilcoInd.com)

Tractor and equipment manufacturer Brandt expects to double its manufacturing footprint — and expand into new equipment lines — after closing a deal for a major Saskatchewan plant site specializing in power generation machinery.

The Regina-based company on Friday announced it had closed its deal to buy the former Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Canada facility in Saskatoon’s Hudson Bay Industrial area for an undisclosed sum, from liquidation specialists Prestige Equipment and Hilco Global.

The plant, which made power generation equipment for customers worldwide including the province’s Crown-owned utility SaskPower, opened in 1988 and closed last July when the company decided to “restructure and streamline” its operations, according to Hilco.

The 208,000-square foot Saskatoon site is set up for design, manufacturing, inspection, installation, trial operation, sales and preventive maintenance for power generators, wind turbine towers and pressure vessels.

Hilco noted other manufacturers in the energy, mining and oil and gas sectors “benefited from this company’s ability to machine and fabricate products across a wide range of sizes and applications, including such small parts as diaphragm nozzles to very large parts such as turbine casings, tanks and vessels.”

The deal, which brings Brandt’s total manufacturing footprint to over 500,000 sqaure feet, “will open up significant opportunities to grow our current product offering and create high-value skilled trades jobs in the province,” Brant president Shaun Semple said in a release.

Brandt said it’s already “in planning to determine an optimal return-to-operations schedule for the facility, but has already begun hiring local workers.”

Semple said the company hopes to talk with SaskPower and “all three levels of government to lay the foundation for a renewed, Saskatchewan-owned green energy industry.”

Brant, he said, is “very hopeful that SaskPower and the provincial government will be supportive and stipulate that any towers brought online in the province must be built here as well, guaranteeing a bright future for many skilled Saskatchewan workers.”

In a separate release last month, Semple said that when it was announced the Hitachi assets could be broken up and sold off, “we had to act fast or the province would lose a world-class facility and the ability to produce large-scale green energy products.”

Brandt, which is already building a new engineering facility in Regina and had been looking at “further expansion possibilities” there, said in March the Saskatoon facility posed “an excellent additional opportunity for growth and diversification.”

However, Semple said, “we have temporarily suspended our other expansion plans in Regina until our manufacturing future planning is complete and a number of development issues are worked out.” — AGCanada.com Network

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