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.

Honeywell property to be cleared, sold off


By Ron Giofu

Honeywell announced last week that there will not be any activity returning to its Amherstburg plant but town officials believe that could be an opportunity for the municipality.

The remaining buildings at the site that Honeywell occupied, which is adjacent to the former General Chemical site now known as Amherstburg Land Holdings, will be razed in the coming months as Honeywell has decided to ship the work formerly done at their Amherstburg plant elsewhere.

In August 2014, production of hydrofluoric acid at Honeywell’s Amherstburg, Ontario site was suspended. Honeywell remains committed to the merchant HF market, and after evaluation has determined that all customer demand is being fully met through production facilities in Geismar, LA and distribution support at other Honeywell locations,” a statement issued by the company read.

The statement continued: “Therefore, Honeywell has made the business decision to permanently close the Amherstburg site. Honeywell will demolish all remaining buildings, perform any necessary remediation in a manner consistent with the Ministry of Environment requirements, and sell the site for commercial or industrial use. Honeywell is committed to completing demolition and any necessary remediation of the site to allow commercial or industrial reuse of the former manufacturing lands for the long-term benefit of the Amherstburg community.”


CAO John Miceli believed that when the buildings still at the Front Road North property are torn down, it will make it “a clean site” better suited for redevelopment.

“I think it actually makes the site much more attractive,” said Miceli. “Before, it was limited because Honeywell’s buildings were not part of the equation.”

Miceli pointed out the property has a lot of “unique features” including its own water plant, a deep water port, rail line as well as hydro and natural gas. While the site has been used for industrial purposes, the CAO stated the town would work with interested parties on their ideas for redevelopment.

“At the end of the day, the town would be willing to work with zoning applications, if necessary,” said Miceli.

The property is continually mentioned when large parcels of land in the area are sought and Miceli added the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) also is marketing the site. He added there are no permit applications as of yet pertaining to the demolition with the town not being aware of any timeline for the process to begin.