GE has announced that it will build a state of the art gas-engine plant in Welland, Ontario’s Harry Diffin Industrial Park. The plant employing 150 people to begin with, will produce large reciprocating gas engines and power-generation equipment to service the oil and gas industries.
This is a major industrial win for Welland and one of the biggest industrial investments the Niagara Region has seen in recent years. GE’s arrival cements a recent upswing of positivity, economic growth and investment for Niagara.
Why GE chose Welland, Ontario
GE’s decision to move its manufacturing operations out of the States came when the U.S. Congress cut funding from the government’s export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank. Countries with export banks like Canada’s Export Development Canada (EDC) have presented themselves as more attractive investment options for companies.
Economic development officers across Niagara (Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Port Colborne - the Niagara Development Corridor), collaborated to bid on the GE plant as soon as GE announced its plans to move operations to Canada. Each municipality provided land options and incentive opportunities under regional CIP plans. Welland’s Harry Diffin Industrial Park provided complimentary amenities that matched GE’s needs.
What makes Welland an attractive location to investors
There are a number of elements that make Welland an ideal location to industry. For GE, collaborative government, proximity to the U.S. border and Niagara Falls, export incentives, skilled workers and fully serviced industrial lands were all deciding factors. GE will be rewarded millions of dollars in development incentives through the Niagara Gateway Economic Zone CIP incentive program. They are the third major development in the Region to be rewarded this type of incentive funding behind Northern Gold Foods and the Canadian Motor Speedway.
What GE’s investment means to Niagara and Canada
As a global manufacturing facility this new plant will have an economic impact regionally, provincially and federally. The supply chain that surrounds the operations of this plant is significant. Over 400 companies supplied the Wisconsin plant and these supply chain companies are expected to migrate south to continue to support operations. Locally, manufacturing firms could contribute to and become integral parts of this supply chain. The manufacturing industry in the region and province are inherently enhanced by the new GE plant arrival.
GE investment by the numbers
- 450,000 sq. ft. high tech facility
- 75 acres of land
- $265 million US (approximately)
- Located West of Highway 140 in the Harry Diffin Industrial Park
- 150 employees with room for growth
- Open and operational 2018
Niagara is fortunate to have Dan Degazio, his team and the Region working to create jobs and attract global companies to Welland. When GE could locate anywhere in Ontario they chose Niagara and they chose Welland.
Niagara has great momentum on all fronts from the housing prices, new commercial activity, new manufacturing jobs, new hospitals, new arenas, new condos, tourism is at an all time high and the list of great news keeps coming.