Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Advanced Manufacturing Fund Announcement for Essar Algoma Steel Inc.

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Speaking Points

Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

July 24, 2015

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests.

Thank you for the warm welcome and thank you Minister Goodyear for that great introduction.

Having been a member of this community for more than 30 years, I'm excited to be here today for an announcement that will have a very positive and broad impact.

From its origins in 1901 as Algoma Steel, through its establishment in 2007 as Essar Steel Algoma, this plant has been an economic driver for Sault Ste. Marie and northern Ontario.

Many of our residents work here. The company directly accounts for about one out of every 14 jobs in the Sault.

As the chair of the National Steel Caucus, I have had the opportunity to participate in many meetings with industry representatives to discuss how best to build a stronger Canadian steel industry.

Our Government is proud to support Canadian companies like Essar Steel Algoma that are committed to innovation and continuous improvement in its operations. In fact, since 2007, it has made capital investments in its own infrastructure and in the community totalling more than $1.2 billion.

In the latest example, which we are here to announce today, Essar Steel Algoma is undertaking a more than $240-million project to modernize its steelmaking facility through innovative equipment and processes.

Today, I am pleased to announce that FedDev Ontario will provide a repayable contribution of up to $30 million to Essar Steel Algoma through the Advanced Manufacturing Fund. This marks the first AMF announcement in Northern Ontario.

Through the funding being announced today − and I know we all see provincial Ministers Gravelle and Orazietti, so I will not give anything away − the company will be able to produce a wider range of steel grades, increase steel quality, and increase production levels to meet Canadian demand, which is now largely dependent on imports.

The upgrades will enable the company to produce advanced grades of heat-treated steel plate, which without this project, would not be produced in Canada.

The company also anticipates that more than 200 jobs will be created, while also supporting the maintenance of about 2,500 employees.

We know that for every job created in the manufacturing sector, there is a Canadian family better able to make ends meet and ensure a better tomorrow for their family.

Being able to produce high-quality and advanced grades of steel is critically important for both Essar Steel Algoma and Canadian industry, given that plate steel is an important input for some of Canada's key sectors, such as defense, mining, energy and shipbuilding. In fact, I'd like to add that Essar Steel Algoma is currently the only manufacturer of marine-grade steel plate in Canada, and this project could represent a market opportunity for the company to supply Canadian-made steel to domestic shipbuilders.

Congratulations to Essar Steel Algoma. I look forward to seeing this important work take shape for the benefit of not just the company, but also this great community and the Canadian economy as a whole.

Thank you.

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