Windsor

WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation 'actively engaged' on GE opportunity

A plan for General Electric to move production of large, gas-powered engines to Canada has caught the eye of officials in Windsor, who hope to see that business come to the border city.
General Electric says it will establish a facility in Canada to produce large, gas-powered engines, which until now were being built at a plant in Wisconsin. (Thibault Camus/Associated Press)

A plan for General Electric to move production of large, gas-powered engines to Canada has caught the eye of officials in Windsor who hope to see that business come to the border city.

The company announced Monday its intention to open a new facility in Canada, where it will build engines.

Up until now, the GE engines had been built in Wisconsin, where the company had employed 350 people. Those jobs will now move to Canada with the shift in production.

GE declined to identify where in Canada the plant will be established, though it said it expects the new facility will be operational within 20 months.

A spokesperson told CBC News in an email that no decision had been made on the location for the plant.

However, Rakesh Naidu, the interim CEO of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, said Monday that the opportunity was on his organization's radar ahead of the public announcement from GE.

"We are engaged on this file," Naidu told CBC News in a telephone interview on Monday afternoon.

Naidu said Windsor is well-suited to provide GE with the resources it needs for its business.

"We have the manufacturing capability here as you know, we have the supply chain capabilities," he said. "We have the ability to assemble engines here, we have the ability to test the engines here, so it's a great location."

Windsor's proximity to the U.S. border is also a bonus, as it would allow GE to serve the American market well.

But Naidu said it's easy to transport products abroad, whether by ship or by rail.

"I think for us, it makes a lot of sense because the workforce is there," Naidu said.

Naidu said his organization is "actively engaged with I would say every level of government to make this investment possible."

He said that "we'll do our best, we won't leave any stones unturned, so hopefully, we'll get the support from every level of government."

With files from Reuters

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