WATERVILLE, Nova Scotia (May 2, 2012) — Nova Scotia is studying the feasibility of moving Waterville's airport in order to make room for Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. to expand its Waterville truck and OTR tire plant.
The provincial government said it will conduct a $100,000 feasibility study, with the cooperation of Michelin and the municipality of the County of Kings, to “support potential expansion” at the 30-year-old plant.
Michelin acknowledged it requested that the province study the situation, but a spokesman stressed “at this point it is just that (a study). The spokesman said Michelin considers opportunities continuously, “and we want to get the Waterville site prepared for any opportunities that could potentially come by in the future.”
The study is to be completed by summer's end.
“The province continues to explore opportunities that will grow the province's economy and create good jobs for Nova Scotians,” said Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter in a statement.
“Attracting, retaining and growing businesses like Michelin requires hard work, and we're ready to get that work done,” said Diana Brothers, warden of municipality of the County of Kings. “A successful feasibility study will show a way to support and promote Michelin's growth and the needs of the airport. I'm confident we'll find a win-win way to do it.”
Michelin employs about 3,500 in Nova Scotia, including 1,200 at the Waterville plant, which is one of Michelin's key manufacturing sites for its X-One wide-base single truck tire. The company invested $82 million there in 2006-07 to add capacity for the X-One.
The airport, which occupies land adjacent to the Michelin plant, is managed by Waterville Airport Cooperative Ltd. It has one 3,500-foot runway serving primarily private aircraft.
This report appeared on the website of European Rubber Journal, a U.K.-based sister publication of Tire Business.