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TrentonWorks supporter vexed by slow sale progress

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TRENTON – Efforts by a group that includes a former TrentonWorks employee to purchase the idle plant and build railcars and other products remains stalled.

Roger Langille of R.G. Langille Holdings Inc. based in Vancouver, says his company and the group he has assembled is ready to buy the facility, just as it was in June when another unidentified group entered bidding.

However, Langille said he feels frustrated that the sale process is not progressing within the provincial government level and is wondering if it’s time to abandon his bid for the idle plant.

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He says he is willing to open the plant as a source of structural materials, such as those for roadway and railway bridges and other infrastructure, before its return to building railcars.

Langille, who recently was in the area while trying to obtain certification to operate the idle plant, said he hopes the change means he can get a certification order for structural work soon and get permits to build railcars later.

“We’ve changed the plan a bit,” he said.

“We need a certification  order that could take a year or a year and half (for permission to build railcars). We can open as a structural plant – a heavy beam operation for bridges, get certification for railcars and make money while we’re doing it. It will pay its own way.”

Langille said there is high demand for structural materials to replace infrastructure throughout eastern Canada and the eastern U.S. that would justify that kind of operation at TrentonWorks.

The fate of the plant rests with receiver David Boyd of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who has been handling the matter since the wind tower operator DSME Trenton closed.

Pictou East MLA Tim Houston asked Business Minister Mark Furey about the matter last in the legislature during Question Period.
“PricewaterhouseCoopers said that they had received a number of offers to buy the plant as a going concern,” Houston said.  “That was in June. We stand here today in November. People want to know what’s happening.”

Furey said the receiver “continues to engage proponents.”

“We want to be very diligent in the work that is undertaken, and we want to ensure, where opportunities exist, for continued operation of that facility in Pictou County, that will be the priority,” he said. “As we speak, those discussions continue.”

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