Skip to content

Federal funding to facilitate layoff recalls and new jobs: Tenaris president (5 photos)

MP Terry Sheehan announced $16M in funding this morning

Tenaris Algoma Tubes Inc. has received $16 million through the federal government’s Strategic Innovation Fund for upgrades to the manufacturer’s operations locally. 

It’s expected the funding – which is going toward Tenaris’ $36.3 million upgrade project – will enable the company to maintain more than 500 jobs in Sault Ste. Marie and Calgary, while creating up to 90 full-time jobs at the seamless mill operation in the Sault.

“This is critically important,” said Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan, who was on hand at Tenaris Friday for the funding announcement. “Forty per cent of the GDP (gross domestic product) in Sault Ste. Marie relies on steel, but this investment today of $16 million, it brings the total investment from the federal government for the steel industry in Sault Ste. Marie to $106 million.”

“I mean, that is supporting well over 3,400 direct jobs, but indirectly there’s another 12,000 – plus all the pensioners here that rely on the steel industry for their pensions.” 

It’s expected that Tenaris’ upgrade project will improve both mill performance and product capabilities by expanding its capacity to produce steel grades, with high resistance to corrosion,  for resource drilling and extraction. 

Border Security Minister Bill Blair says Canada’s energy sector will benefit from the federal dollars. 

“They are the number one consumer of the products that are being produced here at Tenaris, and so by supporting our industry development here through Tenaris - through their steel - we’re also supporting the energy sector,” Blair told reporters following Friday’s announcement. “So we’re continue to make those investments and support workers, manufacturers, and it’s good for the Canadian economy, it’s good for Canadian workers - it’s good for Canada.”

Locally, Tenaris Canada president Guillermo Moreno says the federal funding contribution to Tenaris’ upgrades will not only create up to 90 “full-time, well paid, middle class” jobs in Sault Ste. Marie, but will also result in the recalling of layoffs announced back in November 2018 and January 2019. 

Moreno says there’s about 200 employees laid off in the Sault right now. 

“We are expecting to start recalling them because of this investment,” he said. 

Moreno told reporters that the $36.3 million upgrade project has already begun, and that workers will be getting recalled soon. 

“We expect to complete all the investments by the end of 2020, but we will try to finish as soon as possible,” he said. 

But Moreno says that Tenaris remains exposed to the dumping of foreign steel. 

“This is going to help us to increase our production capabilities here, so we’ll be able to supply more to the Canadian market from this mill,” Moreno told reporters. “We are still exposed to those unfair imports, so we keep monitoring them and working with the government to see if there is a surge.”

“We have remained committed to the steel industry from day one since being elected. Each and every year, we have made changes in investments that have strengthened the steel industry,” said Sheehan. “I think we have one of the strongest steel industries now in the history of Canada.” 

Tenaris – which currently employs more than 300 workers locally – is Canada’s only seamless steel pipe manufacturing facility.