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China's TSP to build tower factory in Ontario

CANADA: Chinese tower maker Shanghai Taisheng Wind Power Equipment Co. Ltd. (TSP) is planning to open a plant in Ontario, its first manufacturing investment outside China.

The company has formed a joint venture with British Columbia’s Top Renergy to invest C$25 million to establish a wind tower manufacturing facility in a mothballed auto parts plant in Thorold, a city in Ontario’s Niagara region.

The plant will have 150 full-time employees during the first phase of operations, which will produce towers for onshore turbines in the 50kW-to-3MW range for domestic and international markets. It already has orders for the next two years, says Chris Xie, CEO of TSP Canada Towers Inc.

TSP denied the decision to open its first overseas plant was influenced by the US Department of Commerce's decision to levy duties of 14-26% on imported Chinese towers.

Shawn Jiang, TSP Canada’s director of business administration said: "Our decision was made before the US announced their extra duties against Chinese wind turbine and wind tower manufacturers.

"We look forward to commencing operations quickly," Xie said. The company is currently renovating the plant and is targeting an October start.

Jobs at the plant could increase to 250 if the company decides to manufacture of offshore wind towers at the facility.

Thorold’s access to road, rail and water transportation routes makes in an "excellent location" to manufacture the larger offshore tower segments, Xie told reporters at a news conference.

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