Michelin Tire is set to start construction in late spring or early summer on an expansion of its Bridgewater, N.S., plant.
The project has one last regulatory hurdle to clear — a May 4 deadline to appeal the town's approval of a development agreement with the company earlier this month. So far, no appeals have been filed with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
The French multinational wants to add 34,400 square feet to give it room for more tire-making equipment. That sounds like a lot — and it would be anywhere else — but it will add a little more than two per cent to the plant footprint.
Michelin calls the two new buildings it wants to construct an "addition."
"An addition to our Bridgewater plant will allow for the installation of new equipment used in the tire building process, ensuring we are well-positioned to meet future market needs," Michelin spokesperson Nicolle Vuotto said in a statement.
Eligible for Nova Scotia tax credit
Given the internal competition for capital spending among Michelin plants, Mayor David Mitchell said the decision to invest in Bridgewater matters.
"Even though it may seem, you know, 30,000 square feet in comparison to the million square feet overall, it's still an expansion, which is significant. I think it shows its confidence in the plant itself," Mitchell said.
It will also create between 10 and 15 jobs.
The project is eligible for a 15 per cent refundable income tax credit under the Nova Scotia capital investment tax credit.
Neither the company nor the province were prepared to discuss whether the tax credit is in the works.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater is doing what it can to assist Michelin should it move ahead with a major expansion in the future.
As part of a new $50-million interchange project connecting the town industrial park to Highway 103, a portion of Logan Road is being closed to better route truck traffic. The section of Logan Road being eliminated also blocked any future westward expansion of Michelin.
'It means a great deal to the community'
The company, however, is not talking beyond the current addition.
"Michelin is continuously looking for opportunities to strengthen our industrial footprint here in Nova Scotia," Vuotto said in her statement.
The Bridgewater plant employs more than 1,000 people and is one of three company operations in Nova Scotia.
"It means a great deal to the community. It lifts the entire regional economy up. And we're very fortunate to have to have this Michelin plant here," said Mitchell.
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