An aerial view of DSME Trenton
A bid to operate the former DSTN facility has been conditionally accepted by the province.
Nova Scotia Business Minister Mark Furey said negotiations will now take place as part of the court-appointed receivership process.
“This is a positive step. It could result in a sale if conditions are met, the necessary agreements are in place, and the court gives approval. It is, however, too soon to speculate. We will let the receivership process unfold as it should,” he said.
In November, receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers rejected bids from a previous sale process and began accepting new bids. Two new operational bids were received.
No further details will be released at this time, in order to safeguard the process going forward.
Furey said this stage of the process doesn’t have a deadline. “Obviously, we want it to move as quickly as possible and we hope there will be a favourable outcome. Most importantly, if there is a sale, it needs to be a viable business plan, and the best deal possible for the community and for taxpayers.”
The receiver will file court documents with more detail at the end of the process.
The first process attracted three bids to operate the facility and four bids to buy the plant's equipment, but the receiver determined that the offers didn’t demonstrate the ability to be successful. Furey said at the time that continuing with business plans that weren’t suitable wouldn’t be in the best interests of the facility or the community.
DSME Trenton Ltd. (DSTN) announced in February 2016 that it would cease operations at the Trenton facility. Following the announcement, the province filed for receivership as the only secured creditor of DSTN.
The Korean company operated the facility as a wind tower manufacturer, beginning production in 2011, but closed it as a result of organizational restructuring in an attempt to recover from the parent company’s substantial operating losses.
Prior to its purchase by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the facility was called TrentonWorks. Closed in 2007, it had produced railcars under many different owners, such as DOSCO, Hawker Siddley, Lavalin and Greenbrier, since its establishment in 1913. At its peak, the facility employed more than 1,700 skilled workers.