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Construction on North Bay galvanizing plant reaches halfway point

$21-million facility will be operational by year’s end

Construction of a new, $21-million hot-dip galvanizing plant in North Bay has reached the halfway point.

On Aug. 14, the City of North Bay announced Norgalv has poured the facility’s 35,000-square-foot concrete floor, simultaneously welcoming an announcement of $5 million in funding from the provincial government.

The plant is expected to be operational by year’s end and will employ 45 people.

Located in the city’s airport industrial park, plans for the facility were announced last September, and ground broke on the build last fall.

Hot-dip galvanizing is the process of providing a corrosion-resistant coating on fabricated steel products by dipping it in a bath ("kettle") of molten zinc. It's often applied to steel products used in harsh environments (such as bridges and in underwater applications) to ensure its longevity and to keep maintenance costs low.

The Norgalv plant will operate a semi-automated, single line, employing a kettle measuring 8m x 1.4m x 3.5m.

Norgalv’s managing director, André van Soelen, said support from multiple levels of government made the decision to build in North Bay an “easy” one.

In addition to the $5 million from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., Norgalv has received $1.5 million in federal funding through FedNor, while the City of North Bay is providing a tax rebate and more than $70,000 in grants to cover municipal fees through its Growth Community Improvement Plan.

“It is absolutely amazing that ‘growing the economy’ and ‘creating jobs’ aren’t mere slogans, but goals proven with the assistance and support in getting this investment here today,” van Soelen said in a news release.

Though the plant will primarily serve the North’s mining service and supply sector, van Soelen said the technique has applications in other industries.

“Mining remains a big part of the Northern Ontario economy and, therefore, integral in Norgalv’ s strategy; however, hot dip galvanizing is required in many other sectors ranging from telecommunications, road infrastructure, agricultural, petroleum and power generation,” he said.

Government representatives on hand for the event included Anthony Rota, Nipissing-Timiskaming MP; Marc Serré, Nickel Belt MP; and Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP and minister of economic development, job creation and trade, who called the plant an “important expansion for the North.”

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald said the build demonstrated “confidence and investment” in the city.

“This plant will create new employment, support local business, and create new business opportunities in our city,” McDonald said.