Premier Dexter visits Amherst facility
© Darrell Cole - Amherst Daily News
(From left) LED Roadway Lighting president and CEO Chuck Cartmill explains the LED technology to Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar. The premier toured the manufacturer on Monday before speaking to the Amherst Rotary Club.
AMHERST – One of Amherst’s newest and most successful companies has received high praise from the province’s top elected official.
Premier Darrell Dexter toured LED Roadway Lighting in the Amherst and Area Industrial Park on Monday while on a visit to the community. The premier also visited the Amherst campus of the Nova Scotia Community College and participated in a roundtable with members of the Amherst Rotary Club.
“I saw some of the leading innovation in the world with respect to LED and particular to roadway lights,” the premier said after touring the manufacturing facility and speaking to employees. “The innovation taking place here is something the employees can be proud of. It is literally going to be distributed around the world and is going to take a Nova Scotia developed product, made by Nova Scotia workers into 75 countries and counting.”
LED Roadway Lighting manufactures innovative streetlight fixtures that use 60 per cent less energy than traditional fixtures. The company employs more than 140 at its Amherst manufacturing facility and has its executive offices and research and development facilities in Halifax.
The company hopes to triple its workforce by 2014.
“The province and the premier have been great supporters in promoting our business globally,” company president Chuck Cartmill said. “We have a 146 people working here in Amherst and we’re growing. We’ve grown by more than 50 per cent in the last year.”
Cartmill sees the company continuing to grow, adding there are billions of dollars of work out there and an opportunity that continues to grow as more jurisdictions make the switch from traditional streetlights to LED.
The province last year invested in the company last year by providing LED Roadway with a $10-million loan guarantee from the Industrial Expansion Fund. The province made the loan guarantee to help what it considers a promising leader in clean technology take its business to the next level.
Dexter said Monday’s tour was his first of the Amherst facility. He said the operation is poised to become an international leader in what’s a $500-billion global industry.
“Not only is this great innovation, but it’s a great product for longevity and it is also a product that is going to cut the cost associated with running the highway lights because it’s going to reduce the amount of electricity used and in turn cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions,” the premier said. “It’s a great thing for Nova Scotia, it’s a great thing for Canada and it’s a great thing for the world.”
The premier’s visit comes days after the company announced it had signed a five-year contract with NB Power to convert some 72,000 streetlights to LED. The company is also working with the government of Brazil to use its streetlighting technology there.