Talon Energy Services has just finished building a collection of subsea modules for the White Rose expansion project, at a facility in Port aux Basques.
The work required about 80 employees at peak, sourced locally, and the company’s plan is to sustain employment at that facility.
The idea of continued fabrication work at the site has been given a helping hand from the federal government, in the form of a $500,000 repayable loan through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
“We want to make sure that there’s long-term, great jobs here in Newfoundland,” said Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, announcing the loan at a news conference at another Talon facility, on Dundee Avenue in St. John’s Monday afternoon. Leitch was standing in for regional minister and the minister responsible for ACOA, Rob Moore.
“It aligns well with our government’s commitments to jobs, long-term prosperity and support of strategic sectors that generate economic development across the country, and strengthening rural economies,” she said.
However, the jobs will only continue to exist if Talon Energy continues to be awarded contracts.
“You’ve got to have big fabrication projects to make it viable,” said company vice-president Greg Drodge, who was at the loan announcement.
He said the company’s fabrication building in Port aux Basques was developed for the Hibernia project but sat idle for years, before falling into private hands and then being leased to his company last year.
With the success of Talon’s White Rose work — completed under contract with Technip, for Husky Energy — and with another contract in hand for building the flare boom for the Hebron offshore oil platform, Drodge said Talon is looking at a potential purchase of the facility.
“I think (the outlook) is very good,” he said, when asked about betting on manufacturing work.
“If you look at what’s happening offshore right now, beyond Hebron, a lot of the development out there is subsea expansion work and that type of project basically requires the need for large subsea structures like we’ve just built for Technip Canada and so I think there’s lots of potential for that facility to be used in the next five, 10 years,” he said, adding the company will be looking for opportunities in other sectors, including mining and power.
The ACOA loan will help cover the cost of specialized equipment, such as cutting tables.
“We’ve I guess invested a lot of company funds into getting the facility up and running. And we see it as a long-term venture for us,” he said.