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Nova Scotia awaiting outcome of Daewoo meeting on Trenton wind turbine plant

Nova Scotia Business Minister Mark Furey says he is awaiting the outcome of a Thursday board meeting of the troubled wind tower manufacturer DSME Trenton.

In 2010, the province gave DSME Trenton $56M in financial assistance

Nova Scotia has pumped more than $56 million into DSME Trenton, which is majority-owned by a South Korean subsidiary of shipping giant Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd. (CBC)

Nova Scotia Business Minister Mark Furey says he is awaiting the outcome of a Thursday board meeting of the troubled wind tower manufacturer DSME Trenton.

The province has pumped more than $56 million into the plant, which is majority-owned by a South Korean subsidiary of shipping giant Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd. They were lured to Nova Scotia with provincial and federal government money in 2010 that was a combination equity investment and loan.

"There's no contracts, there's no work undertaken at the plant. The plant is in a stage of maintenance," Furey told reporters on Thursday.

The province has a 49 per cent stake in the company and one seat on the board of directors, which was meeting Thursday in Halifax.

"We will see what the outcome of the meeting is today, I assume there may be some take away from that meeting for the board, the company and possibly government," Furey said.

"Like any board meeting, when meetings are held there are decisions made and often takeaways where the stakeholders would have responsibility for followup and I assume that would be the normal course here."

No decision on fate of plant

An earlier version of this story said Furey expected the board meeting to decide the plant's fate. A department spokesperson contacted CBC News to deny that.

"There are no decisions being made/announced today. This is a regular meeting of the board," a spokesperson for the Department of Business wrote in an email.

​Furey told reporters Thursday morning the province will not put any more money into the operation.

On behalf of DSME Trenton, accounting firm EY, also known as Ernst & Young, canvassed 100 possible companies for work and failed.

Thirty-five people are working at the Pictou operation — far from the 300 to 500 expected when Daewoo arrived. In December, Daewoo considered restarting the production of railcars.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, DSME Trenton project manager Scott Covey said he has nothing to report.

"A board of directors meeting is scheduled for today, Jan 28/16, and at this time I expect if all members are in attendance then it will revolve around current operations, potential investors, and DSME Trenton's future business opportunities," he said.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has given the company more than $7 million for equipment and training.

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.

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