Weatherhaven lands $60m military contract
(PORT COQUITLAM) – The first mobile shelter unit of a $60 million “Made in BC” procurement program was unveiled today, showcasing state-of-the-art engineering, design, and manufacturing from around the Lower Mainland.
More than forty-seven BC companies have contributed as part of the supply chain to build these world-class structures, under contract to Burnaby-based Weatherhaven. Eight of those companies, representing more than 90% of the value of the work effort, were invited to participate in the event today.
When fully deployed on military vehicles, these shelters can be outfitted into more than thirty configurations including command centres, medical clinics and kitchens. A key feature of these units is an on-board mechanical room, which enables each unit to operate independently. These vehicles will be used to support both domestic needs as well as peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the world.
Weatherhaven CEO, Ray Castelli marked the occasion by leading a tour of the final assembly facility located at Wesgar Completions in Port Coquitlam. Castelli was joined by the Honourable James Moore, Minister Responsible for British Columbia, Keith Day, facility operator and Wesgar CEO, and representatives from key supplier companies involved in the project.
“These new military truck bodies represent world class design and manufacturing capability,” Castelli explained. “Part of our business strategy, as well as one of our contractual obligations under Canada’s Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) program, is to build and enable a local supply chain capable of doing world class manufacturing to challenging military specifications. We’re extremely proud of what our BC supply chain team partners have been able to achieve,” he added.
“These state of the art units are part of the Government of Canada’s plan to replace the 30-year old technology now being used by our armed forces,” said Minister Moore. “Weatherhaven and their partners have led the world in the development of this technology, and we are thrilled that we have a ‘Made in Canada’ solution to the needs of our military.”
Weatherhaven teamed with DEW Engineering in August 2009 to win this $130M procurement program. $60M of this contract is being built in BC, including all the expandable container versions of these shelters, which are based on a Weatherhaven design.
The production facility is managed by Wesgar Completions, the company sub-contracted by Weatherhaven to manage the final assembly of the unit.
“This production location is a newly established facility, designed specifically to manufacture this product to Weatherhaven and the military’s exacting standards,” said Day. “This project proves again that world class technology is being designed and built in British Columbia, and we’re happy to be a part of that.”
The $60 million in economic activity from this project has been estimated to create or sustain more than 80 full-time equivalent jobs in BC over the course of the three-year term of the project. It is hoped that the potential export market will sustains and grow this investment, and there is currently strong interest in this product from Australia, Europe and Brazil.
The eight companies involved in the project from the Lower Mainland are:
• Container shell – Tri-Metal from Surrey
• Sheet Metal components – Wesgar from Port Coquitlam
• Painting and Assembly – Wesgar Completions from Port Coquitlam
• Wood paneling – Seagull from Vancouver
• Onboard generator – Frontier from Delta
• Battery chargers – Analytics from Delta
• Electrical System – DNA Data Networking from Burnaby
• Electrical installation – Wespac from Coquitlam
Weatherhaven is a leading provider of portable shelters, camps and systems for remote sites around the world. The company engineers, manufactures and installs custom shelter systems for a wide variety of commercial, military and medical applications. www.weatherhaven.com
Wesgar is a 40+ year manufacturing company based in Port Coquitlam. Wesgar has 200 employees and manufactures metal components for a number of high profile companies including: Kodak, OCE, Digital Payments, Honeywell, Rockwell Automation, and Telus. www.wesgar.com
High resolution photographs from this event are available for publication.
For more information, please contact: Marcella Munro, cell 604-345-3214