Daewoo chooses Nova Scotia for North American wind power plant

Korea-based Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has chosen Nova Scotia, Canada, for its North American production centre for wind turbine towers and blades. The operation will be located in Trenton, Pictou County, creating up to 500 direct jobs and is expected to be operational by fall 2010.

The Province of Nova Scotia and DSME have signed a shareholder agreement and committed to equity investments: DSME is contributing $20.4 million and will hold 51 per cent of the common shares and the Province is contributing $19.6 million and will hold 49 per cent of the common shares. The Province will have a representative on the board of directors. The Province of Nova Scotia is also providing start-up financing, a loan for new equipment, working capital, and a loan to acquire land and buildings.

"This is a historic day for Nova Scotia as we welcome another leading international manufacturer to our business community" said Nova Scotia’s Premier, Darrell Dexter. "Nova Scotia’s partnership with DSME reinforces the province’s position as a gateway to lucrative North American wind energy markets."

The partnership between Nova Scotia and DSME is reflective of the province’s work to diversify its sources of foreign direct investment by tapping into emerging markets, specifically Asia.

"Nova Scotia is the right location for DSME as we plot our strategy to diversify into the wind energy sector," said Mr. Nam Sang-Tae, CEO & President of DSME. "We were attracted by Nova Scotia’s skilled workforce, efficient transportation systems, competitive costs and multiple energy sources, including wind, tidal and offshore. The support we received from government was another key factor in our decision."

The government of Canada announced that it intends to invest $10 million in the plant. The investment, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, will be a $5-million repayable loan and a $5-million contribution for adjacent land improvements.

This venture is the result of more than a year of work that began with signing a memorandum of understanding to explore economic opportunities. The original memorandum was developed by DSME, the Nova Scotia government departments of Energy, Economic and Rural Development, and Nova Scotia Business Inc.

DSME is a diversified company and one of the world’s largest ship builders. The South Korean-based company was established in 1973 and today is a first-class builder of commercial and naval ships and offshore projects. In 2009, DSME acquired DeWind Inc., an American wind turbine engineering company, and announced plans to expand into the wind power sector and build a production plant in North America. South Korea-based DSME is publicly listed on the Korean Stock Exchange.