UPDATE: Solid future predicted for new P.E.I. manufacturer

Steve Sharratt
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Jason Aspin

MONTAGUE — He was born here, went to school here, and now he wants to set up a business here.

And judging by his track record, the opening of Atlantic Advanced Power Technologies (AAPT) by Jason Aspin should be the Christmas present this part of eastern P.E.I. has long been wishing for.

Production at the Pooles Corner facility will begin in a few shorts weeks and the starting payroll for the first 10 employees will be roughly $500,000. AAPT expects to be hiring up to 30 workers within the next few years.

“They have been extremely successful in their ventures and are now returning to this area to give back to the communities they came from,’’ said Innovation Minister Al Roach during the announcement Wednesday. “It’s great to see two Islanders reinvest in their home province and bring jobs to rural P.E.I.”

Atlantic Advanced Power Technologies is an expansion of companies already operated by Aspin and partner Elizabeth Boyd. Both graduated Montague Regional High School and now sell products around the world.

The province is providing a $1.5 million loan towards the $3.2 million project to establish the manufacturing operation for commercial marine applications. AAPT was considered the strongest applicant seeking out the Pooles Corner facility.

The company is setting up shop in the old APM building that offers well over 50,000 square feet of space and has seen a few tenants come and go over the past few years. However, officials believe Aspin’s track record will create permanent jobs here that have eluded other operations.

“I can tell you I know the man and he’s been successful worldwide,’’ said Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay. “I expect to see this place thriving.”

The company now has four employees getting equipment set up and about 10 will be employed when production begins in January. A $48,000 annual salary is the wage range and up to 30 employees are expected to round out the complement over the next few years. The company will employ skilled machinists, assembly workers, welders, draughtsmen and administrative staff.

“It’s hard to imagine back in 1984 when I graduated Montague high that I would back here doing this,’’ said Aspin, the son of retired Captain John and Linda Aspin.

“The future looks extremely bright and our promise is to grow the business in a sustainable way with jobs built on real projects and we have lots of business.”

Aspin is the owner of AspinKemp and Associates, an established designer and builder of electrical equipment for marine and industrial components. Elizabeth Boyd is the owner of Careli Marine Corporation looking to expand to P.E.I. The new operation will serve the shipping industry and the oil and gas business.

“This company makes things that are needed in good times and bad times,” said Roach. “So we’re extremely confident of a solid future.”

The prior tenant was OpacMare, an Italian yacht accessory manufacturer that dropped plans when the U.S. economy tanked in 2008.

Aspin said his company has been growing for the past 16 years and he made a personal choice to return to the Island and set up operations in Stratford in 2007.

“We have a book of work to operate sustainability and we will not extend ourselves,’’ he said. “We’ve been through the economic downturns and survived and I see our work unending.”




Organizations: Atlantic Advanced Power Technologies

Geographic location: Iceland

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Recent comments

  • SG
    December 19, 2012 - 20:54

    The Government can't fund the $30,000.to have a Police Officer at Holland College but they can provide a $1.5 million loan to AAPT which (expects to be hiring up to 30 workers within the next few years.) Thirty Jobs within the next few years, given the number of Islanders that are currently unemployed, will do little to decrease our rate of unemployment despite the large number of Islanders who are already working and living in Alberta.

    • HC Student
      December 20, 2012 - 07:09

      Just wanted to point out it is not Holland College that needs a police officer, it is Colonel Grey High School.

  • soooooo
    December 19, 2012 - 20:40

    So Al Roach can throw money at a company that has 10 employees (but oh yeah-its going to be 30 in 5 years time) but cant build onto my kids junior high without a fight from the parents and students....Mr Roach are you that out of touch?

  • intobed
    December 19, 2012 - 20:04

    $1.5 million in government loans, towards a $3.2 million project. So what is the interest rate for the loan? Is it forgivable, if so under what conditions? Is the government also backing any of the other money being used? How much in wage subsidies will the government be contributing? Any other taxpayers money being used by this company?

  • Betty Pickens
    December 19, 2012 - 18:42

    I applaud a business expansion and the number of jobs...but as a senior, paying high taxes, I would like my tax money to fund social projects that are desperately needed. Government has become a funder of business. Aren't Banks supposed to be lenders of money to business? Government funds should first and foremost be spent to serve the needs of its people...when programs are not funded and business gets our tax money, than I question the wisdom and responsibility of government. (example:affordable public transportation, lower electric costs, lower taxes on gas, no cost bridge crossings for PEI residents...I am sure the list could go on....If we had more descretional money in our pockets we would spend it and the economy would improve....more jobs would available...more people would get jobs.....If people short of money could get extra money from government each month. they would not have to go to Food Banks for food..they could afford to buy it themselves! This money would be the same money that would have been "given" to a business. Phys ed teachers and Music Teachers and Art teachers could be staffed in our schools which would improve education. Security personnel could be funded for schools to make our children safe from bullying and drugs. The money spent of these needs would be the same million and half given to a business. That is a Tax Payers View.

  • This is Good News
    December 19, 2012 - 18:21

    This is indeed good news for this area. Maybe now people can move on and let the previous tenant Opacmare become a distant memory.

    December 19, 2012 - 18:07

    Please, will government stop giving money to companies. I thought we were going broke and yet the govt came up with $1.5 million for this?

  • Success Story
    December 19, 2012 - 17:48

    Holy Smoke People ! Can we have a bit of Positive Energy Please Man oh Man what would you rather just re-open all the Island Bootleggers and just stay in the Stone age ! WOW ! Congratulations to This Gentlemen and Good For You on your New Venture !

  • ummmm
    December 19, 2012 - 17:20

    I'll call this newsworthy when theres 30 full time jobs there for one full year.....better start looking for another tenant when the government funding runs out

  • Ed Gallant
    December 19, 2012 - 16:33

    What a timely Christmas for Montague and PEI. Good luck to both Mr Aspin and Ms Boyd. It's good to see the private sector creating jobs instead of waiting for governments to give handouts. If more people were like these two, this Island could become a real force.

    • Ed are you
      December 19, 2012 - 17:37

      Ed are you off your rocker? How much government money went into this??

    • ummm it is a handout
      December 19, 2012 - 18:59

      Note the sixth paragraph: ''The province is providing a $1.5 million loan towards the $3.2 million project to establish the manufacturing operation for commercial marine applications.'' So Aspin went to OUR OWN POCKETS for $1.5m instead of going to say Scotia Bank, RBC, CIBC or TD to get a $1.5m loan. This is just another project that will end in him being rich and us out of $1.5 million. That qualifies as a HANDOUT in my definition of the word.

    • They got a
      December 19, 2012 - 20:05

      They got a handout -" The province is providing a $1.5 million loan " and we know how loans go regarding these projects on the island. Taxpayers end up with the bill in the end.

      December 19, 2012 - 20:28

      It didn't say anything about $1.5 Million loan in the original story.Even so, if this business pans out, it will be worth it.

  • More Money for Aspin Kemp?
    December 19, 2012 - 16:09

    More government funding for Aspin Kemp and Associates?

  • Skilled Worker
    December 19, 2012 - 16:04

    Wow-I missed the boat here I guess...were these jobs advertised?

    • Why so negative?
      December 21, 2012 - 10:29

      Is that sarcasm? The article makes it clear that this is just starting up. Why dont you show some initiative and send in a resume if you are interested? I doubt that they have a team of psychics poised to come knocking at your door.

  • good news half
    December 19, 2012 - 15:31

    good news, indeed. And with the new hotel, visitors will have a place to stay. How about the rest of the story? How much will be invested in total? How much is coming from government? Loans? Grants? Tax rebates?