Tremcar West celebrated their 10th anniversary in Weyburn with an announcement they will be expanding their operations by manufacturing propane tanks here, which will add about 15 new jobs over the next year and a half. The company’s initial investment will be about $500,000 for equipment and training.
Tremcar West is a subsidiary of Tremcar Technologies, and Weyburn was their first location in Western Canada, followed a few years later by centres in Saskatoon and Edmonton. Tremcar is a family-owned and operated business, which is the third-largest tank manufacturer in North America.
At the anniversary celebrations, the stage was shared by company owner and president Jacques Tremblay, and Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA and Environment minister Dustin Duncan. The event also included a barbecue and entertainment by the Milkman’s Sons band.
In an interview, Tremblay said they are in Weyburn for the long-term, and wanted to make better use of their facility. The manufacture of propane tanks will begin possibly by January, and will not require the building of any additional structures on their site in Evanston Park.
There are five manufacturing sites for propane tanks now, he said, including in Tennessee. In Weyburn, the company has sandblasting equipment and a paint booth for their tankers, and as all propane tanks have to be painted, this seemed like an ideal place to set up a new operation.
With the addition of 15 jobs this expansion will bring, Tremcar will have about 25 to 30 people employed in Weyburn within a year to year and a half, said Tremblay, with the possibility of more jobs in the future.
“I have a good feeling about the industry,” he said, expressing optimism about the future of the oil industry and the economy in general.
“We feel it’s coming back slowly. Here out west, we have sold some big fuel tanks, and we think with propane tanks that could make this operation better,” said Tremblay, noting of the Weyburn operation, he said, “It was our first move out west. At that time, the oil industry was booming.”
Asked why they located in Weyburn, Tremblay said they liked the location, halfway between Regina and Estevan, with customers in both locations and throughout the southeast region and they felt they had the best advantage by coming here.
“We are here for the long term. We are confident in this location, and it’s always a good market here,” he added.
Tremcar began making tanker trailers for milk many years ago, and since then it’s expanded into other industries, including the oil industry. Tremblay noted they have sold milk tankers in Manitoba, and now they come to the Weyburn location for repairs when they’re needed.
“Sometime down the road, things are going to change, no doubt about it,” he said, commenting that “we’ll still be using oil for the next 100 years,” considering that crude oil isn’t just used as fuel for vehicles, but is used as the manufacture of many, many items.
Tremblay commented that it doesn’t make sense that oil is brought in from the Middle East to Canada and the U.S., when there is plenty of oil available here, with the need for pipelines very evident to safely move the oil to Eastern Canada.
During the anniversary celebration, general manager Doug Weir noted he has only been in Weyburn since locating here in February.
“We’re hoping we can grow this place,” he told the audience gathered for the barbecue and entertainment, noting he’s been in the industry for 40 years, and he’s seen them go through good times as well as bad.
Tremblay told the group that when he came to Weyburn a decade ago, Duncan was one of the first people he saw, and the MLA was able to help them out greatly, including helping to mobilize a crew from SaskPower to be on the site within days to hook up them up with electricity.
“I was impressed about this kind of service,” said Tremblay, and noted while the oil industry has not been doing well in the last four years, “we are committed to supporting our customers here for the long term. We are here for the long term.”
In his remarks, Duncan noted that the oil and gas industry accounted for 15 per cent of the province’s Gross Domestic Product last year, with $9.2 billion in investments made by companies in 2017, up from the $6.9 billion the year before.
Out of the total, around $4 billion was invested in exploration and development, which Duncan said indicates there is continuing strong interest in the industry in Saskatchewan.
The province is recognized internationally as a positive market to invest in, and for the positive business environment, with Saskatchewan ranked seventh out of 97 jurisdictions worldwide as a good place to invest in.
“We just need some help to make Canada the place to be,” said Duncan, pointing out that Saskatchewan has a viable environmental plan to address reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it is not a made-in-Ottawa solution.
As Environment minister, he said sour gas operations are one of those that his department pays attention to. “We’re seeing significant improvements in this area,” he added.
Duncan said companies like Tremcar West are what make this province strong, and will continue to make it strong in the coming years, and the oil industry will benefit not only in the southeast area, but the entire province and country of Canada.