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GE Moves New Factory to Ontario After Receiving $20.5M Grant

In a move the company attributed to reduced U.S. support for exporters, General Electric broke ground today on a new 450,000 square-foot gas engine factory in Welland, Ontario, Canada.

Ontario provided GE a conditional grant of $20.5 million, leveraging an overall investment of $185 million. The factory will replace an aging plant in Waukesha, Wisc., creating 220 jobs over the next five years, according to the Ontario government.

The new plant will produce energy-efficient engines and other components for global markets, with production scheduled to begin in 2018. The Welland plant will be among the most advanced in GE’s global operations, utilizing the industrial Internet of Things approach to advanced manufacturing.

“The outstanding support offered by the Ontario government, Niagara Region and City strongly influenced our decision to build the factory in Welland.”

In announcing the move to Canada last year, GE cited the closing of the Export-Import Bank in Washington, D.C., which subsequently reopened with restricted export-finance capabilities. It noted that in contrast to Washington, the government of Canada continues its financial support of large exporters. About 80% of the GE Welland facility’s production is slated for export.

“The outstanding support offered by the Ontario government, Niagara Region and City strongly influenced our decision to build the factory in Welland,” said Elyse Allan, president and CEO of GE Canada. “I look forward to continuing our close collaboration to create jobs and economic growth.”

“The City of Welland becomes an important link in our global integrated network and the new future that we have charted for GE with the convergence of industrial and digital, and Canada has all the essential ingredients to succeed in this new digital industrial reality,” said John Rice, vice-chairman of GE. “Canada is a key partner to GE in seizing opportunities that contribute to domestic development, as well as export opportunities and global supply chain development, as we seek to meet the needs of our customers in 180 countries around the world.”

About Warren Strugatch

Warren Strugatch
Warren Strugatch is a writer, speaker and consultant based in Stony Brook, NY. He covers economic development, global business, management and marketing.