Economic development lesson at the bottom of Saint John Harbour

By now you have likely heard about those two massive turbines that fell off a barge into the Saint John Harbour. The are going to have a hard time getting them up from the bottom because they weigh 107 tonnes each.

With my somewhat twisted mind, when I heard that I wondered why those turbines weren’t manufactured right here in New Brunswick. I guess that some folks would say we are too far from market, etc. etc. etc. Apparently, Louisiana isn’t too far from the market.

The Shaw Group Inc. (nyse: SGRnews people ) is putting together a plant in Lake Charles that will build parts for nuclear generators, bringing in 1,500 new jobs.

The idea with this big projects – be they nulear, refineries, wind energy, etc. should be to try and leverage them into longer term economic development opportunities. It would be just as easy to manufacturer those huge turbines in Saint John or Belledune and get them to market as it is in Louisiana.

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0 Responses to Economic development lesson at the bottom of Saint John Harbour

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well,what can I say?
    Build them in NB??
    NB doesn’t even have the wherewithall to transport them!!!
    Did I mention,the best have left?
    Of course I mean my own relations,20 about who are now in Alberta,one of them a former dredging supervisor,now doing a contract in Alberta.
    The turbines would never have fell off his barges.But of course this barge supervisor probably not making 90,000 a year.

  2. richard says:

    “Did I mention,the best have left?”

    Perhaps the best wouldn’t have left had this approach been taken when Lepreau was built in the first place. And then perhaps the 90K salaries would be here as well.

    Provide the jobs and the talent will come, whether from NB or elsewhere.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Right thinking but wrong component to focus on; there is lower hanging fruit that NB companies could have a better chance to successfully, and competitively supply.

    However, there would be nothing wrong with approaching the supplier to set up in NB and bring their expertise; maybe they set up a related product line that addresses emerging industry needs such as tidal turbines.