Abraflex, a member of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), held a celebration as the company looks forward to further expansion.
Located in Paisley, the company is the exclusive supplier of the Mark III Plastic Suit for Bruce Power and was one of the first supply chain companies to locate in Bruce County as part of the Ecoomic Development and Innovation Initiative. The Indigenous owned company co-owned by Desiree Norwegian has also recently formed partnerships with other supply chain companies including Promation Nuclear and The Plan Group. The company also manufactures specialized products such as gaskets, material handling services, decontamination tenting services and packing and seals of all types and will be adding another 10,000 square feet to its Paisley facility.
Mike Ruysseveldt , Director of Business Development for Promation and part of the Abraflex Executive team, said that it is an exciting time for the partnership and that he is “…optimistic about the future of the clean energy nuclear industry and the future job opportunities that our sector can provide. We saw the synergies of coming together in partnerships. Part of Abraflex’s expansion with Promation will include decontamination work, component remediation and hot tooling repairs ”
Abraflex, CCN, Plan Group and Promation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would result in a resin product formerly used in Europe being brought in to the Canadian marketplace and how it can affect change in the nuclear industry. Ruysseveldt also said that with Promation, they will be looking at component remediation throughout North America in the nuclear industry. “This is very important for the future in reducing the amount of waste that would go into a low-level waste DGR … we are here to affect change.”
Bruce Power President and CEO, Mike Rencheck, also said that Abraflex was an incredible success story. “It was one of the first to locate in our region revitalizing an unused building and creating jobs in the local community. It’s exciting to see how the partners have come together with innovation and creativity that will service our industry and potentially those that aren’t nuclear.”
Rencheck added that, “The business developments and new products for competing in the North American market really sends home how we can do these kinds of things in rural communities and do them well. It’s a testament how by working together and collaborating, we can work into the future and prosper for many years to come. Technology is changing so fast and these innovations can be offered not only in Canada but in North America and globally.”
He pointed out that Bruce Power has been working with OCNI to ensure that an ‘energy hub’ is being created in the area and the vision is to have more partnerships and ‘competamates’ formed. “We are also looking at extending that further with the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) … we started with a kick-off in Toronto with universities in a ‘hack-a-thon’ where universities and 50 college students came up with industry solutions in 24 hours that we have been wrestling with for years. It’s that creativity and type of energy that we want to bring in to our industry and to our community to create the prosperity that everyone can participate in and work together to build a bright strong future.”
Robert De Bartolo of OPG also pointed out that OPG produces over half of the province’s energy with no greenhouse gases. He said that Darlington Nuclear station refurbishment and infrastrucutre clean-air project is the largest in Canada. According to De Bartolo, over the next 30 years, Ontario’s GDP will increase by over $89million and there will be 14,000 jobs created every year. He said that Abraflext is one of many Canadian companies involved in the refurbishment and 96 cents of every dollar is spent in Ontario relying on a strong nuclear supply chain. He added that the suits being produced by Abraflex add to the safety of work being done and innovation is the key in the nuclear industry.
Among the dignitaries were MP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Larry Miller, MPP Bill Walker and Steve Hammell, Mayor of Arran-Elderslie.
MP Miller, who toured the facility, also celebrated the company’s decision to locate in Paisley. “This decision means jobs for local residents for years to come and I welcome the company to the area.”
MPP and Minister of Government and Consumer Services and Chair of the PC Nuclear Caucus, Bill Walker, also said that the positive economic impact to the local area will benefit the region, the nuclear industry and the province overall.
“Bringing more than 50 companies to the region is absolutely astounding. It gives our young people the ability to say I don’t have to leave or go to the city. They may go to get some training but now there is so much opportunity here and they can come home and be part of the community. The remediation is going to be critical down the road to reduce that nuclear waste and getting it down to almost nothing is the future. Nuclear is all about continually evolutionizing the industry. It’s all about sustainability, more jobs and more opportunities for the future.”
With his dry sense of humour, Mayor of Arran-Elderslie, said that “… at one time Paisley needed jobs and now it needs parking”. We will all benefit from the additional work force that will help keep Paisley and surrounding area a great place to live, work and play. Our communities are growing because of companies like Abraflex coming to our towns.”
Mayor Steve Hammell (ST file photo)