Province Supports Local, Growing Company, More Rural Jobs

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism (to April 2015)

June 10, 2013 1:13 PM

A Hantsport-based manufacturing company is expanding its business and creating more than 30 jobs in the Annapolis Valley.

The province is supporting CKF Inc.'s plan to purchase new machinery and upgrade equipment.

"CKF is a successful business with deep roots in Hantsport and an increasing demand for its products. Without the province's support, CKF would not be able to expand its operations and create more jobs for this community," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele.

"This investment is another example of the jobsHere plan in action, as the province supports businesses that can compete on a global scale."

CKF Inc. is a family-owned company that manufactures Royal Chinet and other molded pulp and foam products for retail, food service, and packaging industries in the Canadian and U.S. markets. The company also has plants in Ontario and British Columbia, though the Hantsport facility is the only one with machinery that makes Royal Chinet products.

The company employs 260 people in Hantsport.

"With other facilities in Canada and markets across North America, CKF Inc. could have expanded their business somewhere else, yet they chose to keep growing here, meaning more good jobs for people in Hants and the Annapolis Valley," said Hantsport Mayor Robbie Zwicker, also a CKF employee. "I'm really pleased that some of the new positions have already been filled by workers affected by the closure of Minas Basin Pulp and Power last year."

New machinery and equipment upgrades will increase productivity, expand product lines for current and new markets, and reduce energy costs by converting to compressed natural gas for part of its production process. Heritage Gas Ltd. will supply the compressed natural gas, which is expected to reduce CKF's energy costs by up to $1.8 million annually.

"After 40 years of working here, I know how important this plant is for the workers, the community, and families who want to stay home," said Jerry Morine, a millwright for CKF. "This community has had a hard time lately, so any long-term investment in the plant is great for all of us."

The province will lend CKF Inc. up to $8.7 million for the company's $16.5-million expansion, and provide $2.6 million in incentives, if the company completes the capital upgrades.

"These enhancements to our plant will re-energize our business, which is good for the company, but also for our workers and the community that have supported us for more than three generations," said Michael Green, vice-president of Finance at CKF Inc. "New equipment and the use of compressed natural gas will allow us to be more competitive, and a cleaner, greener operation."

CKF Inc., a member of the Scotia Investments Limited group of companies, is Hantsport's largest employer, operating since 1933. CKF is a member of the Scotia Investments Limited (SIL) group of companies. SIL is a Nova Scotia-based, family-owned private holding company that is diversely invested in manufacturing, energy and innovative health and environmental sectors. SIL has about 1,100 employees, mostly Nova Scotians, and has operations in six provinces.


FOR BROADCAST USE

     Royal Chinet manufacturer CKF is expanding production at its

Hantsport-based facility with support from the province.

     The company's plan to buy and upgrade manufacturing

equipment and convert some of its energy source to compressed

natural gas will create more than 30 new jobs and protect

260 jobs at the facility.

     As part of the 16-point-five million dollar expansion, the

province is lending CKF eight-point-seven million dollars and

providing up to 2-point-six million dollars in incentives.

     CKF is a family-based company and Hantsport's largest

employer. It has been in operation since 1933.

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Media Contact: Tina Thibeau
              902-424-5836
              E-mail: thibeatd@gov.ns.ca