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.