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New Liskeard steel company secures federal funding for upgrades, expansion

Wabi Iron and Steel receives $400K for new equipment, facility improvements
Wabi Steel 2
Wabi Iron and Steel, New Liskeard (File photo)

A key northeastern Ontario manufacturer received FedNor funding to purchase and install new technology for making steel products.

New Liskeard's Wabi Iron and Steel Corp. received a $410,250 loan to modernize and expand its shop.

According to a FedNor news release on March 3, the funding will create eight jobs immediately and help create up to 20 jobs as part of future expansions.

The "repayable contribution" helps Wabi purchase and install a variety of equipment, including milling, lathe and molding machines, as well as to complete structural and environmental improvements such as roof enhancements and lighting upgrades.

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The release said the upgrades will enable the company to improve efficiencies, increase exports and expand product offerings to capitalize on growth opportunities in key sectors such as mining, forestry and mineral processing.

Established in 1907, Wabi is a leading manufacturer of loading and conveyance systems for the mining industry. The company is one of North America’s premier producers of general and abrasion-resistant castings in iron and steel. 

The money is coming from FedNor's Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Program.

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“This FedNor investment will allow us to purchase the cutting-edge equipment we need to scale up, increase production, expand into new markets and meet the growing demand for our products and services," said Wabi CEO Jeremy Birnie in a statement.

"Investing in innovative businesses like Wabi Iron and Steel Corp. will support recovery efforts, create jobs, increase exports and maximize the economic potential and sustainability of our manufacturing sector," said Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota.

"From mining equipment to clean-tech, to value-added products and beyond, this key sector creates good jobs and is an vital part of a growing supply chain," said Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan, parliamentary secretary to the minister of economic development and official languages on behalf of Mélanie Joly, the minister responsible for FedNor.