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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Provincial loans help four Windsor and Leamington firms expand, create 153 jobs

Published Apr 13, 2024  •  2 minute read

Vic Fedeli, left, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Chunbok Choi, CEO of DS Actimo Canada Inc., check out machinery at the newly constructed Windsor facility on Thursday, April 11, 2024. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Four local companies shared nearly $12 million in provincial government loans that will create 153 new jobs in Windsor and Leamington and support a combined $125 million in new investments by the firms.

Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli made the announcements Thursday at the new $60-million DS Actimo Plant.

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The company is a subsidiary of Dongshin Motech, which will make the aluminum casings that will contain the battery cells manufactured at Windsor’s NextStar Energy Battery plant.

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DS Actimo received $5 million from the province’s Regional Development Program.

Also receiving loans were Kautex Textron ($1.5 million), Integrity Tool and Mold ($2.3 million) and Highbury Canco Corp. ($3.1 million).

“Our government is working to ensure Ontario’s auto sector will continue to grow and thrive no matter what economic headwinds may come our way,” Fedeli said.

“Windsor is one of our province’s premier manufacturing hubs, especially in the auto and auto-related sectors.

“This incredible new facility is the company’s first manufacturing plant in North America. (The investment) will strengthen the province’s end-to-end EV supply chain.”

Vic Fedeli, left, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade speaks during a press conference announcing provincial loans to four Windsor and Leamington companies on Thursday, April 11, 2024 as Chunbok Choi, CEO of DS Actimo Canada Inc. looks on. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star
Chunbok Choi, CEO of DS Actimo Canada Inc. speaks on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at the newly constructed Windsor facility. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

The plant, located on Windsor Airport lands, will have 96 employees when it begins production in mid-September. The company is currently going through the hiring phase.

DS Actimo global chief financial officer Euiyeoul Song said the company is already eyeing doubling its production capacity in Phase II of the development. That would entail investing another $60 million in the Windsor site.

“We’ll probably begin construction by the end of the year,” Song said. “Phase III of the development will depend on market conditions.”

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Song said DS Actimo has already secured leases on the land abutting the current plant for the expansion. He confirmed the expansion will allow the company to serve other customers besides the NextStar plant, which is a product of a joint agreement between LG Energy Solutions and Stellantis.

Kautex Textron, the only plastic fuel tank manufacturer in Canada, used its financial support to build a $23-million plant to manufacture new battery skid plates using advanced composite materials. The funding will help create 12 new jobs.

“The grant we received from the Ontario government allowed us to build an entirely new line for our newest product, Pentatonic Underbody Protection,” said Kautex Textron chief operating officer Eric Cardinali.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to expand and succeed within the Windsor, Ontario community.”

Integrity Tool & Mold will use its $2.3-million loan to support a $15.6. million investment in new technology to increase production capacity at its new Windsor plant. The project will create 25 new jobs.

The $3.1 million loan Highbury Canco received will be part of an investment of over $26.5 million the company is making to modernize and add processing and warehousing capacity at the former Heinz plant in Leamington.

“We are thankful for the support from the provincial government, which will allow our company to modernize our facility and increase our processing capacity,” said Highbury Canco vice president of supply chain John Krueger.

“Initiatives to support local manufacturers like the Regional Development Program help to make investment possible during these difficult economic times.”

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Twitter.com/winstarwaddell

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Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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