The Brandt Group of Companies has entered into a binding agreement with U.S.-based industrial liquidator Prestige Equipment and financial services firm Hilco Global to acquire the former Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Canada Ltd. facility in Saskatoon. Brandt serves the agriculture, forestry, rail, mining, construction, and tube and pipe industries across the country.
The entire 22-acre parcel, located in Saskatoon’s Hudson Bay Industrial area, as well as its 208,000 square-foot manufacturing facility and all of its highly specialized equipment will become locally owned for an undisclosed sum. It is thought that since its construction in 1988, Hitachi has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the gas turbine and wind generation equipment manufacturing facility, which features the largest machining and fabrication equipment in Canada and has produced power generation equipment for customers around the world, including SaskPower.
“When we learned that the Hitachi assets were going to be broken up and sold off in spring, we had to act fast or the province would lose a world-class facility and the ability to produce large-scale green energy products,” said Shaun Semple, president of Brandt, in a press release.
The plant’s final closure in October 2016 resulted in nearly 400 highly-skilled local workers to lose out on work. With Brandt already constructing an engineering facility in Regina and looking at further possibilities for expansion in that city, the Saskatoon facility presents an excellent additional opportunity for growth and diversification.
“It is our plan to reintroduce green energy technologies such as wind turbines to assist SaskPower with its mandate to diversify beyond traditional fossil fuels,” continued Semple. “We will be sitting down with the provincial government, the City of Saskatoon and SaskPower to see what can be done to save this valuable asset.”
The acquisition of the facility will cause Brandt’s manufacturing footprint in Saskatchewan to top 500,000 square feet, split evenly between Regina and Saskatoon. The expected closing date for the Saskatoon deal is April 10, 2017.