A new three-year, $167-million agreement with China Gas Holdings has Chilliwack-based manufacturer IMW scrambling to find the right local talent to fill new jobs.
The longterm purchasing deal announced Thursday will see IMW supply up to 416 compressed natural gas (CNG) compressors to the Chinese natural gas giant for the construction of 310 CNG stations in China,
Under the agreement, IMW anticipates supplying a suite of its products and services, including the compressors as well as approximately186 dryers, 527 dispensers, and 387,500 litres of buffer storage to China Gas’ distribution partners for the 310 stations.
While all the equipment will be assembled and tested at IMW’s facility in Suzhou-Taicang, China, all key components will be manufactured in Chilliwack for intellectual property reasons.
"They are our own designs so we don't want to give it away," IMW vice-president of global operations Brian Nguyen told the Times.
The company currently has 80 jobs listed on its recruitment website, most related to the China deal, and Nguyen expects that number to grow.
"We're looking for a lot of people," he said.
Fraser-Canyon MP Mark Strahl was quick to congratulate the company on its success in an email Thursday.
“We are proud that local companies like IMW are finding success in global markets because we know that this helps create good jobs and benefits here at home,” Strahl said.
The agreement between IMW and China Gas was facilitated through a $250 million financing agreement between the company and Export Development Canada.
An initial $5 million has already been utilized for the purchase of 29 CleanCNG Compressors, which are anticipated to be delivered during the fourth quarter of 2013 and used to construct the first 19 stations. “This is yet another clear example of how our government’s ambitious pro-trade plan is delivering results for hard-working Canadians, like those in Chilliwack, and generating benefits for local workers and their families,” Strahl said.
Chilliwack-based IMW is a leading supplier of compressed natural gas equipment for vehicle fuelling and industrial applications such as bus and taxi ﬂeets and gas-fired power-generation plants.
Current president Brad Miller sold the company to its present owner, California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., for $125 million in 2010.
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