Stratford Beacon Herold

Glass making plant possible for Amherstburg?



By Ron Giofu


Could Amherstburg be the home of a Chinese glass making plant?

According to a report from the Stratford Beacon Herold, Amherstburg is one of four Ontario municipalities in the running for “a $450-million, 186,000-square-metre plant that will be home to 400 workers.” The other sites for the Xinyi Glass Canada plant reportedly are London, Stratford and Welland, that newspaper stated.

Xinyi would use more than 1.2 million litres of water a day, need a “tremendous amount of energy” and need to construct a 100-metre smokestack, the Beacon Herold’s report stated.

However, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo is tight-lipped about any talks with the company, stating he was shocked to see media reports on the matter. DiCarlo stated that like other developments that the town has talked about, they don’t want to leak any information.

“Like many private developments we’ve dealt with in the last few years, these people don’t want anything given out unless something comes of it,” said DiCarlo. “All I can say is that the Town of Amherstburg hasn’t shared any information.”

While stating he is unable to give specifics, the mayor indicated that all municipalities in Ontario are seeking to attract new industry and new business.

“Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to thinks anything we can attract here would pretty much help the town,” said DiCarlo.

This isn’t the first time that developers and companies have approached the town about investing in Amherstburg, DiCarlo added, and while some haven’t worked out, he said he still will not disclose any information in those cases either as he wants to respect the confidentiality that was asked of the municipality.

“When it comes to private business, I’m not at liberty to discuss anything,” he said.

Lana Drouillard, director of marketing and communications with the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC), said they have been involved but also couldn’t add much.

“I can confirm that we have met with the company, the province and the town to pursue this,” she told the River Town Times via e-mail. “All other details are confidential at this time.”

CBC reported that the company had hoped to locate a plant between Cambridge and Guelph but hopes were dashed by Township of Guelph/Eramosa council, as that municipality wanted to have their site maintain a dry use, meaning industries there can’t use significant amounts of water for its production.