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GE closes U.S. engine plant, moves to Canada


September 30, 2015
By The Canadian Press

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Sept. 29, 2015 – General Electric says it will invest US$265 million to build a new engine manufacturing plant in Canada in a move to take advantage of Canadian export credit financing. Meanwhile, it will close a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, which builds gas engines for compression, mechanical drive and power generation applications.

GE currently employs 350 at its Waukesha, Wisc., facility.
 
The company announced Monday that work on the new plant, which will initially provide 350 jobs, is expected to be completed in 20 months. The planned location of the new plant was not disclosed.

The new Canadian plant, according to GE, will be a flexible  facility that can expand over time and also support manufacturing requirements for other GE businesses.

“With today’s announcement, GE fully expects to expand its relationship with EDC (Export Development Canada) in support of the company’s Power & Water, Oil & Gas and Transportation businesses,” the company said in a statement.

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While many countries have export credit agencies (ECAs) that support domestic manufacturing for export, the US does not. Congressional authorization for the U.S. export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank, lapsed on July 1.

“We believe in American manufacturing, but our customers in many cases require ECA financing for us to bid on projects,” said GE vice-chairman John Rice. “Without it, we cannot compete and our customers may be forced to select other providers.”

GE is currently bidding on US$11 billion of projects that require export financing and the company noted that last year the EDC facilitated exports and investments of approximately C$100 billion.

— With files from The Associated Press