Construction is well underway in Ponoka to set up a sales and technology centre for a big name employer.
An Alberta corporation, Hi Tech Canada Development Inc (HDC), is constructing a 5,000 square foot Sales and Technology centre in Ponoka’s north end industrial park which is expected to be finished before the end of the month.
A manufacturing plant, which will produce concrete and steel building panels, is the next phase of the project that is planned to be constructed in the near future.
The new development will be the largest structure in Ponoka.
Murray Wedin, chairman of HDC, believes that this development will provide many benefits for the town and is pleased with the project. He was also involved with promoting Ponoka as an ideal place to manufacture the panels.
“This will be huge for Ponoka,” said Wedin. “It will create jobs, it’s a reason for our youth to stay in town and it involves many spin-off industries such as trucking firms, cabinet manufacturers, etc.”
HDC has a working relationship with International Hi-Tech Industries Inc. (IHI) of Vancouver. IHI is known for its unique construction system for all types of buildings that are based on the IHI building panel.
Currently, from Oct. 20 to 25 the new Sales and Technology centre will be up at the Ponoka site, which is located at 6028 49th Street. The structure, made of the IHI panels, is a showpiece building displaying the IHI building technology.
Wedin is actively involved with the project and is pleased that the location, proximity to gravel and roads, and industries of Ponoka attracted the company to build in the town.
“This is what economic development is all about,” he said. “This is how it works.”
The manufacturing plant will be approximately 106,000 square feet in size which will make it the biggest building in Ponoka. Construction will begin once all the financing is in place and is predicted to take 18 months to complete.
The land for the new plant is a 14 acre site that was bought by the company from the Town of Ponoka in 2006. The site has a unique shape that has room for possible future expansion and features a rail spur access.
The manufacturing plant is predicted to bring in $15 million a year and create jobs for up to 60 workers in the first year. After five years the plant is expected to bring in revenues in excess of $300 million and employ over 200 full time workers.
Carey Keleman, economic development officer for the Town of Ponoka, feels that this is a good project for Ponoka and will contribute to the growth of the town.
“This is great news for Ponoka, especially if the forecasted 60 new employees move their families to Ponoka,” said Keleman. “The new technology is a great addition to our industrial manufacturing sector and the industry will promote activity on Ponoka’s northeast industrial park along the tracks.”
HCD is a privately-held Alberta corporation that was established in 1999 and is run mainly by a group of investors based in Calgary and Ponoka.