Ponoka plant progressing

A company is in the final stages of financing the first phase of a manufacturing plant in Ponoka that could generate $50 million annually and employ up to 60 people in its first year of operation.

A company is in the final stages of financing the first phase of a manufacturing plant in Ponoka that could generate $50 million annually and employ up to 60 people in its first year of operation.

Hi-Tech Canada Development Inc. announced last fall its intentions to build on 14 acres in the town’s north industrial park so that it can manufacture concrete and steel panels used in building construction. The site is located at 6028 49th St.

President Larry Coston said about 80 per cent of the money needed for Phase 1 of the project has been raised.

“We’ll be ready to announce timelines in early to mid-September,” Coston said.

The initial $45-million phase includes a plant that would be have one line of production capable of assembling 12,000 to 15,000 square feet of panels per 10-hour shift. The plant, estimated at 110,000 square feet in size, will be built over 18 months.

Hi-Tech Canada Development has an exclusive licensing agreement with International Hi-Tech Industries of Vancouver to serve the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba market. The panels — consisting of a steel outer frame, a dense insulating material, reinforcing rods and a specialized concrete mixture — are transported to sites where they are easily assembled.

They could be used for a wide range of buildings, including industrial, schools, low-cost housing, pig barns and marinas.

Coston said the second phase would see another two lines built at the plant, plus warehousing space to house raw materials.

By the third phase, a large office would be built to house administrative staff.

A temporary sales office showcasing the building technology is already on site.

As well, another similar-sized plant with three lines would be constructed in the third phase.

When phase two is finished, about 100 employees will be working at the plant.

After five years of operation, the company projects revenues in excess of $300 million annually and more than 200 full-time workers.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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