By the spring of 2014, Gemini Corp. will have expanded within Ponoka, bringing a new site into production and amassing 47 acres of land.
Steel from Calgary-based company’s Fort Saskatchewan site is transferred to Ponoka’s pre-existing site to build modulars, but President and CEO Doug Lautermilch says the size of projects the company is able to handle in Ponoka is limited to the amount of land they own.
“The market place has been really evolving since 2008. We’re seeing competition from outside the market,” said Lautermilch.
Along with the new site comes another building for Gemini. “In that facility we’re adding a new blast and paint facility,” said Lautermilch.
With the new blast and paint capabilities Gemini will be able to handle the largest modulars hauled on the roads.
On the expansion site, the new building will take approximately 6 months to install. “So we’ll have expanding capability by spring,” said Lautermilch.
In November Gemini signed a multi-year alliance with one of the world’s largest module fabricators, Shanghai Morimatsu Pressure Vessel Co. Ltd. of Japan.
“Any fabrications that come out of China will land in Ponoka,” said Lautermilch. “Now we have the capability to do a lot of projects in Ponoka.”
Part of the drive behind the expansion is to allow Gemini to meet the expectations of the alliance.
For Ponoka, the expansion means Gemini will be seeking more employees. Lautermilch says this year the company’s local work force peaked at 175 and, with the expansion, the need will rise to a couple hundred.
“It’s a very good community with excellent resources,” said Lautermilch. “I think the community is one of the primary reasons we decided to expand.”
Gemini has had roots in Ponoka for 16 years and also owns sites in Sherwood Park and Dawson Creek, B.C.