Weyburn – It’s not often you have a live band at an oilfield barbecue in Saskatchewan, but when Jacques Tremblay, owner of Tremcar, came out to Weyburn on Sept. 6 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tremcar West, he had a surprise for the crowd in addition to the music.
Tremcar would be setting up an assembly line to build pressurized semi trailers to haul propane, and that assembly line would be in their existing Weyburn facilities, on the south side of the community.
The announcement comes with 15 expected new jobs for Weyburn.
“We were very successful the first six years. The last four years were terrible. But we are looking at the long term. We are thinking the business will come up, so we support our customers. Now, we have a new project, here in Weyburn. We are going to start a production line of propane tanks that we’re going to add to this area to support our organization here. Probably in the next few months we’ll go ahead with this project,” he told Pipeline News.
The production line will serve their Western Canada markets.
They will be built out of thick carbon steel. The existing paint booth at the Weyburn facility is a key component in the decision.
Asked why, when they have several factories in Central Canada, they would set up in Weyburn, he replied that even though it had been so bad here over the last three to four years, “Canada is a natural resources country, and nobody is going to change that. Of course, it was bad for a while, but the market is going to come back in the oilfield. But we know the oilfield also needs propane tanks, that we’ve decided to produce this kind of thing for the transportation industry out west.”
They will build tanker trailers and truck-mount tanks as well. They will be mostly B-train units.
“We’re probably going to add another 15-16 people more in the next year, year and a half,” he said.
Tremcar West currently has 12 people working out of Weyburn. He doesn’t expect difficulties attracting workers, and pointed out that people are now more willing to move.
Tremblay added, “We expect, by January, we should be ready to build that, building tanks right here and installing it on the truck and frame. We’re going to start to build that here because we have extra space. We decided to take a part of it and built tanks.”
“Here in Weyburn, we have something we don’t have in other area. In Edmonton and Saskatoon, we don’t have sandblast equipment nor a paintbooth. Here we are well organized with all the technology for painting this kind of stuff. When you talk propane tanks, all tanks are painted. We have this equipment here, well organized for many years, but we don’t have this equipment in the other places.
“It will probably be easier to get good workers here than it was five years ago,” he said.
American tariffs on steel and aluminum are having an impact on the company. Tremblay said, “Of course, it’s affecting us, because the aluminum, what we use, the aluminum plate, is coming from the States. There is no production of aluminum plate, minus-quarter inch, that we use for petroleum. It’s coming from the States, mostly. We pay a 10 per cent tariff on it coming from the States.”
The steel will probably come from the Regina, but they may buy directly from the mill.
“We are still thinking the market will be good and we should support our customers.”
In his speech, Tremblay pointed out how, ten years ago, they were initially having difficulty getting three-face power put into their Weyburn facility, but by contacting local MLA Dustin Duncan, who is currently Minister of Environment, workers showed up right away and got the power installed. “Believe it or not, I met him on Thursday, and on Friday, he drove to Regina. On Monday morning, three workers from SaskPower were on the ground here,” Tremblay said. “I thank you very much.”
“I was impressed by that kind of service here,” he said.
“We are committed to support our customers in this area in the long term,” Tremblay told the crowd. “Here, in Saskatchewan, we are here for the long term.”
He thanked the customers, without whom they would not have been in Weyburn for 10 years.
Duncan, said, “I can’t wait, later this evening, to phone Premier Moe and tell him about your expansion. That’s certainly very good news and we certainly welcome that here in Weyburn. We’re so honoured and pleased you decided 10 years ago to open here in Weyburn and even though it’s been a tough couple of years, you’ve hung in, here in Weyburn and are looking at a new line here.”
Tremcar produces stainless steel farm pickup tanks trailers, stainless steel chemical tank trailers, stainless steel food grade tank trailers, aluminum dry bulk tank trailers, aluminum petroleum truck mounts, aluminum petroleum trailer, stainless steel and aluminum crude oil/ethanol tank trailers, aluminum vacuum trailers or hot product/asphalt tank trailers among others. As Tremblay noted in a previous interview, the company has even made tankers to haul chocolate.
Tremcar has six manufacturing facilities located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., St Césaire, Que., Toronto, London, Ont., Strasburg, Ohio, and Haverhill, Mass.