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PIctou Shipyard back in business on Sunday


Pictou Shipyard wont be idle for long as the new owners expect to be back in business again on June 1. File photo

PICTOU - The Pictou Shipyard will officially be back in business on June 1.
Aecon Fabco recently took over the lease of the shipyard from the Irving Group, which had left the site idle since about 2004.
The fabrication company is currently seeking 30 workers from the local branch 244 plumbers and pipefitters union to begin fabrication work on pipes on June 1. A total employment estimate calls for more than 100 workers over time.
"We're starting to hire now, and we're very much looking to stay local," said Ken McCormick, vice-president and general manager for Aecon Fabco. "We obviously want to attract some of our workers back from Alberta, try and get them back to their community for work. The people I've spoken to from the area seem elated with the news, and everyone's been very supportive. Hopefully this is the start of a rejuvenation."
The company already has a history with the shipyard's owner, Besim Halef, who is the president of Banc Metal Industries in Halifax. McCormick's company currently leases a similar property in Dartmouth from Halef, and McCormick himself has known the businessman for about 25 years. That facility employs about 150 workers.
After the Irving Group was out of the picture, Halef said he wanted the next leaseholder to make the facility operational. McCormick insists there are no worries of Aecon Fabco leaving the site idle.
"We're not an absentee renter," McCormick said. "We'll be using the facility."
Length and terms of the lease were not disclosed. The company plans on using the shipyard for large module construction for power plants and refineries, with fabricating pipe first on the agenda.
The group had previously looked at a site in St. John, New Brunswick, but chose the Pictou Shipyard mainly because it had more water access for shipping products and possessed a local workforce that would give them a "running start, labour-wise."
Pictou mayor Joe Hawes was thrilled with the news, and hopes the re-start can help negate some of the brain drain the region has experienced over the years.
"It's a great day for Pictou County, and wonderful news for our workers, especially young ones taking trades at our community college," said Hawes. "There's no place with a quality of life like Pictou County, so if you can get a good job here, why leave? There will be an economic spinoff from this, and I hope it continues for the region.
Some workers will begin today preparing to deal with the backlog of orders the company faces."
Aecon Fabco is part of the Aecon Group, Canada's largest publicly traded construction company.

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