Abraflex, an Indigenous-owned company that manufactures protective plastic suits and plastic tents used in the nuclear decontamination process, intends to double the size of its facility in Paisley.
It currently operates a 10,000 square foot production facility in the former Bruce Packers plant. The proposed expansion would enable the company to fix tools and components from nuclear reactors.
“We’re committed to bringing jobs to Paisley, to Bruce County and to Ontario,” said Mike Ruysseveldt, director of product development and strategy at Abraflex. “And our work with OPG is helping us to do just that . . . thanks to OPG’s Darlington refurbishment project, the local business is investing in broader industrial protection service.”
The tents Abraflex makes are used to contain loose radioactive material when working on components in the nuclear plant.
It recently delivered its first order of its plastic suits providing nuclear-grade personal protective equipment to OPG for use across the company’s nuclear fleet, and more immediately on the Darlington refurbishment project.
The planned expansion Abraflex announced on June 14 is the result of a partnership in an innovative radioactive waste remediation program involving Abraflex, Promation Nuclear — a local robotics, tooling and process equipment manufacturer — along with Plan Group, a technical services provider.
Abraflex is also planning a collaboration with Quebec based CCN which does a lot of work using a resin that is sprayed on components in the decontamination process. It has proprietary technologies that Abraflex is planning to bring into the Ontario industry to support the safety decontamination of components on site.
“In that model Promation would do the tooling, Land Group would execute the trades and we would do it at Abraflex’s facility or at CCN in Hydro Quebec,” said Ruysseveldt.
“Each partner has a part to play. Plan Group, overall plan management with their integrated project delivery model, Promation is project management, their robot experience delivery model and CCN with their existing decommissioning, decontamination programs that could be utilized in the Paisley plan. And they could all be done in Abraflex’s facility here in Paisley,” explained Ruysseveldt.
The company currently employs 21 people. To do the work that is planned would involve dozens and possibly hundreds of people working at the Abraflex plant, including Indigenous partners said Ruysseveldt.
Owner Desiree Norwegian says the expansion will provide economic opportunities for Paisley and the area.
“This is very great news. We love the town of Paisley, we love Paisley and we are here for the long term,” she said..
Ruysseveldt said he looks to include as many indigenous partners as possible.
“I personally am very passionate about attracting First Nations into our industry through individuals who work in our industry or through the supply chain. I understand the challenges of doing that and I’m working through the challenges to increase Indigenous involvement,” he said.
Bruce Power president and CEO Mike Rencheck congratulated Abraflex on its successes to date and its plans for expansion.
“Abraflex is an incredible success story. It’s one of the first nuclear supplier companies to locate in the region as part of the Economic Development and Innovation Initiative, revitalizing and unused building and creating jobs in the local community. . .” said Rencheck
Arran-Elderslie Mayor Steve Hammel said he expects everyone in his municipality to benefit from the additional.