The Bruce Power Life Extension Program looks to be starting to pay dividends in Owen Sound.
On the same week a major announcement is coming about a supplier setting up shop at the former PPG facility in the Scenic City, city council has given approval for a new company called Nuclear Equipment Supply Team (NEST) to begin operating.
NEST president Pat Scanga tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the company will be a supplier to the nuclear industry in Ontario, with a specific focus on Ontario Power Generation and Bruce Power.
Scanga says Bruce Power's Life Extension Program is the main reason why NEST decided to start its business in Owen Sound.
"Bruce Power is pushing for suppliers to locate or start up in the tri-county area, and OPG wants them in Ontario," Scanga says. "Owen Sound is perfect ... it's one of the bigger cities around and it's close to Bruce Power."
Scanga says NEST will operate out of a 10,000 sq. foot space at 2075 16th Street East.
He expects the location to be fully occupied sometime in September.
Scanga spent 10 years working at OPG, and says there is a major need for more competition in the nuclear supplier market.
NEST plans to tap into other local businesses for their expertises under its quality assurance program.
Scanga says NEST already has one purchase order from Bruce Power, and 92% of the contract is being spent locally.
He adds the company is launching with about five employees, with hopes of growing to as many as 15-20 over the next three to five years as NEST expands.
"One of the reasons we chose the site we're at is because we can expand at the site, or expand across the street," Scanga explains. "Within as little as six months we can double the square footage we have right on this site."
According to its website, NEST's future plans are to create a quality assurance program, retro-fit its building to accommodate a lab, offices, manufacturing equipment and warehouse space, and become a valued supplier to Canadian nuclear sites.
Bruce Power's Life Extension Program began in 2016 and will continue through 2053, allowing its units to operate safely at the Tiverton site through 2064.