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Advanced robotics, automation to be employed at Surrette Battery in Springhill

Surrette hopes to double output in three years

SPRINGHILL, N.S. – The growing demand for batteries built at Surrette Battery in Springhill is powering the need for expansion.

“For the past three years Surrette Battery has been fortunate to enjoy significant year-over-year growth in the renewable energy, rail and motive power sectors,” said James Surrette, president and CEO of Surrette Battery. “Our expansion project will allow our facility to meet current demand while improving the efficiency of overall operations and enable further growth.”

The expansion was announced in front of Surrette Battery employees at their Springhill facility on Feb. 1.

The expansion will incorporate advanced robotics and automation at its production facility, which will also undergo a 25,000-square-foot expansion, while adding an additional 18 jobs to the current workforce of 82 people.

The Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is investing $2.45 million in a repayable loan to the project.

Bill Casey, MP for Cumberland Colchester said technology, along with international trade, is rapidly changing the way Canadians live and work.

“Surrette Battery Company has always been on the cutting edge of manufacturing innovations that have positioned it as an industry leader in the production of industrial batteries,” said Casey during the announcement. “It’s a true example of how wind and energy go hand-in-hand helping to grow a sustainable economy here in Atlantic Canada.”

The Nova Scotia Business Inc. Innovation Rebate Program will issue and additional $1.2 million once the expansion is complete.

During the announcement, Surrette said the company has more than doubled its output over the past 10 years, and said he hopes to double that output once again in a fraction of the time.

“Even though we have doubled the output of our plant, just to put it in perspective, our next closest competitor in North America is still ten times our size, and when we go toe-to-toe in the rail industry on a daily basis, we compete with businesses that are 100 times our size,” said Surrette. “However, I fully believe, if we continue to invest wisely and diligently and we continue to operate under the collegial and cooperative manner like we’ve done over the last decade, I truly believe we can more than double the output of this facility again within the next three years. That’s our goal.”

Founded in Springhill in 1959, Surrette Battery has stocking warehouses in more than 20 countries and direct shipments to more than 35 countries from the port of Halifax.

The company was recently awarded a contract to supply up to 60,000 batteries per-year for a minimum of five years to export markets in Germany, Italy and France.

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