KWH Pipe Canada Ltd. is expanding three North American production facilities in a three-year project slated for completion next year.
The polyethylene pipe extruder, based in Mississauga, Ontario, is increasing extrusion capacity at two plants in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Shafter, Calif.
Its Huntsville, Ontario, plant will be expanded as the firm doubles production capacity there. In parent company KWH Group Ltd.'s 2001 annual report, the firm said it will increase the Huntsville plant by nearly 12,000 square feet.
The report also cited extensive investments in North American production capacity in 2001, including a high-output extrusion line for Saskatoon.
``We started last year with the expansion of our capacity in the Saskatoon plant,'' said Tom Stenmark, director of corporate development. ``This year, we're continuing with expansion of the plant and modernizing the extruders in two other plants in California and Ontario.''
Investment in California is focused on production equipment designed to improve product quality and increase capacity utilization, the report said. That unit managed to build its sales volume and market share despite the sluggish economy in 2001.
KWH Pipe Canada secured a US$7.5 million contract in April to provide 5,940 tons of 63-inch pipe for Toronto's Deep Lake Water Cooling project, a method of cooling 20 million square feet of office space by drawing out naturally cold water from Lake Ontario. That project will take KWH 13 months to complete, officials said. The order is the largest ever booked by the North American group.
``The award of [this project] was not a factor in the decision to expand our Huntsville manufacturing facility,'' said Paul van Warmerdam, president of KWH's North American operations. Once the expansion at Huntsville is complete, KWH expects to add nearly 30 employees.
KWH Pipe Canada Ltd. reported an estimated US$76 million in 2001 extrusion sales. The firm serves several markets, including plumbing, gas distribution and electrical/conduit.