REGINA – Premier Brad Wall is lauding a company’s $200 million plan to expand its steel and pipe production facility in Regina.
He said the Evraz expansion shows how Saskatchewan’s economy is diversifying amid low oil prices.
“The impact of low oil is broad and its deep and we need to be very vigilant about having a diversified economy,” Wall said Tuesday.
“We’ve got agriculture, we’ve got potash, I think there’s going to be some hopeful news on the uranium front coming down pretty soon.”
Oil revenue is down $661 million from last year’s budget. The government is forecasting that oil will average US$53 a barrel in 2015 and $67 a barrel in 2016.
Wall said tax incentives for manufacturing and processing play a role in attracting investors.
The provincial budget, which was tabled March 18, outlined an exporter tax incentive that gives tax credits to eligible companies that increase the number of employees at the head-office level.
Another incentive is aimed at steel producers that make capital investments of at least $100 million.
“I think it’s important when it comes to economic development opportunities that we do move quickly … so that we can respond to those who want to invest in the province,” Wall said.
Evraz President Conrad Winkler said the announcement marks the company’s largest single investment in North America.
The company plans to build larger and thicker-walled pipe over the next two years.
“In addition, nearly $100 million in contractor and supplier expenditures will be injected into the local economy during this project,” he said.