Taking Care of Business – February 2018


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Taking Care of Business- February 2018

News for the Sarnia-Lambton Business Community



Following recent announcements, we are pleased to congratulate the following companies who are investing in the Sarnia-Lambton business community: 

Nova Chemicals– Recent announcement of a new world-scale polyethylene plant in St. Clair Township.

Revital Polymers- Recent announcement that ReVital Polymers has purchased a Sarnia recycling facility on Lougar Avenue.

Origin Materials– Recent announcement that Origin Materials is moving a pilot plant it purchased from Tennessee-based Eastman Chemicals to the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, next to Modeland Road.

Tilray– Recent announcement that Tilray will Invest $30 Million in Enniskillen Greenhouse Facility

Advanced Chemical Technologies (AChT)– Recent announcement of a commercial-scale demonstration plant at Sarnia’s TransAlta Bluewater Energy Park to produce methanol using carbon dioxide emissions from Chemical Valley industries.

Previous Announcements: Alpenglow RailGateway Casinos and EntertainmentOrigin MaterialsS2G BioChem, BioAmber



Strategic Planning for 2018 – 2022

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) is in the process of implementing a new Strategic Plan for 2018 – 2022. The purpose of a strategic plan is to establish long-term goals for a business or organization, that lays out the steps needed to make sure those goals are met. The plan takes into account the various resources required including money, people, equipment and knowledge.

SLEP hired a consultant to work with the Board of Directors, staff and community stakeholders for the duration of the strategic planning process, which was divided into 4 segments: background research, stakeholder consultation, strategy development and implementation and metrics.

The process included a kick off event (June 2017), extensive primary and secondary research, community surveys (August 2017), stakeholder interviews and a full day workshop (October 2017). A website, www.slepstratplan.ca, was created to inform stakeholders with documents, collect input through community surveys and engage the community by sharing the progress. This website currently contains demographic and industrial profiles for each municipality as well as, SLEP previous Strategic plan (2015-2018).

The culmination of activities that took place during the strategic planning process are being developed into a set of documents that will guide the organization for the next 5 years, including a specific and measurable action plan. The website will soon be updated to include some of the new strategic plan documents as they are completed.

SLEP CEO Stephen Thompson is excited to complete the process and get to work on the action items. “We have a solid plan and a lot of work to do. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Sarnia-Lambton community.” said Thompson, who recently relocated to the area and began his role as SLEP CEO in the fall of 2017.



Rural Economic Development (RED) Project Announcement- Warwick Circular Economy

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership Association is pleased to announce that the organization will receive up to $20,000 through Ontario’s Rural Economic Development (RED) program to develop an economic development strategy for Warwick Township that is focused on waste, recycling, reuse and remanufacturing.

The “Warwick Circular Economy Cluster Initiative” led by SLEP will adjust the economic development strategy for Warwick Township to focus on waste, recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing, culminating in a waste and recycling industry cluster that serves Sarnia-Lambton and the surrounding region, while serving as Ontario’s key location for recycling and remanufacturing growth and development.

The project ties directly to Ontario’s vision for a circular economy, including the Waste-Free Ontario Act, and the Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy. Warwick’s existing waste sector includes Waste Management’s Twin Creeks landfill, with diversification to a circular economy model possible through utilization of the Warwick Industrial Park and nearby industrial buildings

The project will review, revise, and focus SLEP/Warwick strategic goals, objectives and tactics for the waste and recycling sectors and associated supply chains. The investment strategy involves re-assessing local strengths and weaknesses, identifying appropriate niche market sectors offering the best investment potential and a compelling value proposition for investors. The strategy will enable focused targeted marketing to potential investors most suitable to the Warwick Township and Sarnia-Lambton region. The investment strategy will evaluate the entire value chain of the circular economy- from R&D/incubation to remanufacturing/reuse/recycling- against the strengths of the existing industries and current infrastructure as well as surrounding communities.

The project consists of three key activities:
1) Conducting a feasibility study assessing the practicality of the proposed project.
2) Developing a strategy including goals, objectives and tactics for attracting investment.
3) Completing an implementation plan identifying the critical steps within the project.

The projects core concepts include:
1) Maximizing proximity to WM landfill.
2) Recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing of waste.
3) Creating an R&D recycling facility and incubator tied to recycling/remanufacturing.

SLEP will utilize an industry consultant identified through an RFP process to complete the project activities.

In addition to working with Warwick, SLEP will be collaborating with the Municipality of Lambton Shores, who will receive up to $75,550 to create a brand and develop a contemporary marketing strategy that positions them as the premier destination to visit, live and work along the Blue Water Coast in Southwestern Ontario.

Through the RED program, the Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston will also be receiving up to $9,000 to create a Strategic and Economic Development Plan to identify priorities and outcomes for economic development and job creation.



Through a program called Summer Company, students between 15-29 can get a $3000 dollar grant which includes:
  1. start-up money to kick-off a new summer business
  2. advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running

Learning how to run your own student business is one of the best summer jobs you can have. You get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. Sales, marketing, bookkeeping, customer relationship management and networking are just a few of the highly useful skills you’ll develop.

You may be eligible if you are:

  • Proposing a new business
  • A current student returning to school in the fall
  • A resident of Ontario
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Committed to working an average of 35 hours per week
  • Not operating a business or working elsewhere for over 12 hours per week during the program
  • Not a past participant of Summer Company

Other conditions apply.

Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has been allocated six spots, therefore,  the program is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To learn more and start your online application visit www.ontario.ca/summercompany. If you have questions about the program and wish to speak to someone in the Sarnia-Lambton area contact the Program Administrator, Chantelle Core, at chantelle@sarnialambton.on.ca or (519) 332-1820.



Sarnia-Lambton’s Intelligent Community Taskforce




Sarnia-Lambton continued its campaign to be recognized among the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities, making its submission to the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) the first week of January.  ICF named Sarnia-Lambton to its Smart21 communities for 2018 (as well as in 2016 and 2017) and invited the community to participate in the Top7 leg of its awards program. 

A taskforce comprised of representatives from the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, County of Lambton, City of Sarnia, Bluewater Power, Bluewater Regional Networks, Brooke Telecom, Lambton College, and the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park applied to the ICF program on behalf of the community.

The ICF evaluated each community on its access to broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability, and advocacy before making its announcement in New York City on February 8.  Sarnia-Lambton did not place in the Top7 for 2018, however, momentum continues to build as awareness spreads about Sarnia-Lambton’s Smart21 status. The taskforce is currently planning activities for 2018-2019.

The Sarnia-Lambton ICF taskforce hosted a well attended Humanizing Data event on November 17th as the first official event lead by the group. Humanizing Data was the ICF theme for 2018.

To learn more about what makes Sarnia-Lambton a “smart community”, visit IntelligentSL.ca.

The Intelligent Community Forum is a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center. Its mission is to help communities use information and communications technology to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich their quality of life.



Mark Your Calendar

Summer Company Applications Sarnia- January 23, 2018 to May 19, 2018
Innovation Bridge Launch Event– Sarnia- March 2, 2018
Finding and Keeping Key Talent– Sarnia- March 6, 2018 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Energy Symposium– Sarnia- March 22, 2018

Upcoming Tradeshow Attendance


Advanced Bio Leadership Conference Washington, DC- February 22, 2018- March 2, 2018
Bio World Congress– Philadelphia, PA- July 16, 2018- July 19, 2018





Ottawa contributing $35 million to NOVA project
Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu says Ottawa’s $35 million contribution to the Nova Chemicals’ $2-billion expansion in St. Clair Township is less than expected, but still welcome.

Another ‘green’ plant about to rise in Chemical Valley
A California biochemical company is finding Sarnia’s climate just right for business. Origin Materials has begun preparatory work on a $31.4-million (CDN) pioneer plant at 1265 Vidal St. on land currently owned by Arlanxeo Canada.

Third Tricar Tower Planned For Sarnia
The Tricar group is moving forward with its third high-rise apartment building in Sarnia, on land at the northwest corner of London Rd. and Christina St. Mayor Mike Bradley calls it a ratification of the local economy.

Origin To Develop Original Polymer Site
Plans are in the works for a bio-based feedstock company from California to build its first bio-chemical manufacturing facility in Sarnia.

BioAmber targets new market for succinic acid
Encouraging results in a commercial trial co-sponsored by BioAmber could help open a new market for succinic acid the company makes in Sarnia. BioAmber co-sponsored a commercial study with an unnamed leading North American feed formulator on the effectiveness of its succinic acid as an ingredient in feed for nursery pigs.

Rally Engineering has successful first year in Sarnia
A year after setting up shop in Sarnia, Rally Engineering is looking to double the size of its local workforce in 2018. The Sarnia office of the Edmonton-based engineering firm opened downtown in late 2016 with Sarnia natives Paul Croft and Mike Thompson as managers and the only two local staff members.

U.S. pipeline project providing additional ethane to Corunna site
A $500 million US pipeline project supplying an additional source of ethane to the Nova Chemicals Corunna site in St. Clair Township has gone into service. Houston-based Kinder Morgan announced this month its 434-km Utopia Pipeline from Harrison County, Ohio to Windsor has begun operating.

Sarnia-based Bioindustrial Innovation Canada named a ‘resource champion’
The federally-funded agency that helps emerging bio-chemistry companies get to market was named one of Canada’s Resource Champions by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The award program was created to recognize and highlight outstanding efforts of organizations helping support Canada’s resource industry. Bioindustrial Innovation Canada has been involved in helping new bio-chemistry companies become established in southern Ontario, and in particular in the Sarnia area.

Not just talk anymore, Sarnia’s bio-industry is for real
Sarnia has one of the fastest growing bio-based economies in Canada, an unprecedented number of green economy announcements in 2017 have confirmed. “Things ramped up considerably after construction of BioAmber’s ($141-million plant) in 2015,” says Matthew Slotwinski, business development consultant at the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP). “This has been the biggest year for large-scale announcements.”

NOVA Chemicals to Build World-Scale Polyethylene Plant in St. Clair Township
The Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) would like to congratulate NOVA Chemicals and all of those involved in the announcement of a new world-scale polyethylene plant in St. Clair Township. Bruce Hein, Chair of SLEP stated “On behalf of our entire Board of Directors, I want to thank NOVA Chemicals for providing this transformative, next generation economic development opportunity to Sarnia-Lambton”.

Ontario contributing $100 million to new plant and expansion
Nova Chemicals said Thursday it will spend $2 billion building a new polyethylene plant in St. Clair Township, next to Sarnia, and expand production at it Corunna plant where it makes ethylene.

Sarnia-based BioAmber exploring process to make nylon from sugar
Sarnia-based BioAmber is partnering up on a sweet way to make nylon. The company is collaborating with the University of Toronto on a $5.7 million research project to convert sugar into adipic acid, which is a building block of the silky material.

Venture capital firms working with Bioindustrial Innovation Canada
Sarnia-based Bioindustrial Innovation Canada and five venture capital firms have agreed to work together to seek out opportunities for investments in young “green” sector companies.

City putting up $4.7 million for an oversized load corridor
Sarnia is asking for $6 million in federal funding to create an Oversized Load Corridor. An application to the National Trade Corridor Fund was submitted recently seeking half of the $12 million needed. A dedicated Oversized Load Corridor would relocate or remove signs, lights and other obstructions to make it faster and cheaper to transport large industrial components between local fabricating plants and Sarnia Harbour. If approved, the project would roll out over four years and be the first project of its kind outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

BioAmber eyeing Sarnia as site for second commercial plant
The prospects are looking bright for BioAmber to build a second commercial plant in Sarnia. “We have shifted our focus towards Sarnia,” CEO Rick Eno said in a conference call last week. “I think part of this has to do with the lack of certainty on the regulatory environment in the U.S. and the programs in the U.S.,” Eno said, according to transcript of the call from www.SeekingAlpha.com. The Montreal-based company has been exploring locations for a second and larger plant after opening the world’s largest succinic acid plant in Sarnia in 2015.

Healthy signs for ‘green’ industry push in Sarnia-Lambton
Efforts to grow a green branch in Sarnia-Lambton’s Chemical Valley are having a good year. News this past week that Waterloo startup company, Advanced Chemical Technologies, wants to build a commercial-scale demonstration plant at TransAlta’s Bluewater Energy Park in Sarnia was the latest in a string of recent announcements by “green” industries with plans to set up shop in the community.

Cellulosic sugars co-op offer improves, hosting baling demos
Farmers continue to sign up for an Ontario co-operative that will pay them for their corn stover and wheat straw. Brian Cofell, general manager of the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative (CSPC) says that the co-op has about 40 per cent of the acres committed that it needs by next fall, when it plans to harvest its first crop of stover. The stover will be turned into sugars for industrial uses.

Waterloo company plans to use carbon dioxide emissions as feedstock
A Waterloo company has announced plans for a commercial-scale demonstration plant at Sarnia’s TransAlta Bluewater Energy Park to produce methanol using carbon dioxide emissions from Chemical Valley industries.

Sarnia-Lambton Named Among World’s Smart21 Communities
For the third year in a row, Sarnia-Lambton has been named among the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) Smart21 Communities. The class of 2018 announcement was made today by the ICF in New York City. Sarnia-Lambton’s candidacy was selected from a large pool of communities world-wide.

ReVital Polymers officially opens on Lougar Avenue
ReVital Polymers, a new company that purchased a Sarnia recycling facility on Lougar Avenue after its previous owner went under last summer, is up and operating.

Origin Materials moving development facility to research park
A California-based bio-chemical company set to open a commercial-scale demonstration plant in 2018 at the Arlanxeo site in Chemical Valley is already expanding in Sarnia. It was announced this week that Origin Materials is moving a pilot plant it purchased from Tennessee-based Eastman Chemicals to the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, next to Modeland Road.

Sarnia playing host to petrochemical conference
Representatives of Canada’s petrochemical industry are set to gather in Point Edward this week for a two-day Petrochem Canada conference on the topic of Enhancing Canadian Competitiveness. Approximately 150 delegates are expected to attend the conference launched last year with an even in Edmonton, said Matthew Slotwinski, a business development consultant with the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership.

Hundreds Of New Homes Planned In Plympton-Wyoming
Efforts are underway to develop three large subdivisions in Plympton-Wyoming. Applications have been filed to redesignate the parcels of land, totalling 328 acres, from Restricted Agricultural to Lakeshore Residential. That will allow for construction of about 1,200 single family homes.

Repair shop gives new life to former UBE building
Jason Button is head mechanic at Sarnia’s newest commercial truck and trailer repair shop in the former UBE building. Opening the shop to the general public is the newest business venture for JDW International Trucking, a local company that moved into a large portion of the former wheel manufacturing plant in 2015.

More Headlines (In case you missed them)

Katherine Albion takes over as executive director of the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park
Lambton College building 107,000 square feet of new space by January 2019
NOVA Chemicals Proceeds With Growth Plans in Canada
Sarnia-based Lambton College third on the 2016 Research Infosource Inc. list
Federal funds sought for oversized load corridor
Farm co-op recruiting members to supply planned Sarnia bio-manufacturer
Atelka Expanding Sarnia Operations
Breathing New Life Into Point Edward’s Economy
Point Edward room with a view captivates travelling TV artist
New Training Centre Good For Carpenters Union
Hot Spots: Top 10 Bioeconomy Places to Watch in Canada – Sarnia-Lambton ranked 3rd
Tim Horton’s Comes To Watford
Two New Restaurants To Open On London Rd.
BioAmber announces record revenues for the second quarter 2017 and purchase of Mitsui equity stake in Sarnia Joint Venture
Tilray to Invest $30 Million in Enniskillen Greenhouse Facility
Union Gas to extend service to First Nations, Lambton Shores
Co-op to supply new Sarnia sugar plant
New Development Taking Shape In Grand Bend
Economic Partnership Seeking Input into its Strategic Plan





Copyright © 2017 Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, All rights reserved.

Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
T: 519-332-1820
Toll Free: 800-972-7642
Western University Research Park, Sarnia-Lambton Campus
1086 Modeland Rd., Building 1050, Suite 100
Sarnia, ON
N7S 6L2

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