Time and money running out on sale of idle wind turbine plant

After two years and no takers, Nova Scotia is poised to end its efforts to sell a failed wind turbine manufacturing plant in Pictou County, bringing to a close another failed government-backed industrial enterprise.

DSME Trenton plant placed into receivership in 2016 after the province called a $32M loan

The Nova Scotia government gave DSME Trenton $19.6 million for a 49 per cent stake in the company in 2010. (CBC)

After two years and no takers, Nova Scotia is poised to end its efforts to sell an idle wind turbine manufacturing plant in Pictou County, bringing to a close another failed government-backed industrial enterprise.

"At $150,000 per month to keep the operation at status quo, we want this to happen, we want to find a viable operator. But the clock is ticking," Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday, after touring the mothballed DSME Trenton plant.

That money goes toward keeping the facility in a sellable state.

"At this point, I've been given the operational funds to continue this to the end of the fiscal year, to continue this receivership process," said MacLellan. "But once we get to April 1 and the new budget season, we have to figure out what to do with the site."

MacLellan said the province is looking at three options for the Trenton-based plant: liquidate the assets; find a buyer; or demolish portions of the site and find commercial uses for the rest.

Starting in 2010, Nova Scotia taxpayers pumped $56 million into the operation via provincial loans and grants before the government called a $32-million loan in February 2016, pushing the manufacturing plant into receivership.

The receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has had offers but a sale was never finalized.

About the Author

Paul Withers

Reporter

Paul Withers is an award-winning journalist whose career started in the 1970s as a cartoonist. He has been covering Nova Scotia politics for more than 20 years.