© TC MEDIA/Eric McCarthy
Susan Milligan, Lot 11 and Area Community Council, speaks during an announcement Tuesday where it was confirmed that the federal and provincial governments are teaming up to provide three-phase power to the area. Five area seafood processors will have the more efficient form of power by September.
Benefits include lower electrical costs, being able to operate all of A business's equipment at once
FREELAND – For David Annand, co-owner of Annand Clams Inc., the introduction of three-phase power to his business is his ticket forward.
"I'm as far as I can go without three-phase power, and we want to grow," Annand said, following a federal and provincial announcement in Freeland on Tuesday that funding is being provided to bring three-phase power to five seafood processors in the area.
The Lot 11 and Area Community Council is the sponsoring organization for the funding. Council chairwoman Susan Milligan said her municipality has been working four to five years to bring the project forward.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is contributing $426,109 to the project while the P.E.I. government is investing $152,182, and the five processors are collectively contributing $30,436.
The funding, said Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey, who was representing ACOA at the announcement, is "important as we grow the economy in rural parts of the country and rural parts of my riding."
Annand Clams will be the first to have three-phase power installed and the other businesses Five Star Shellfish, Leslie Hardy and Sons, Burleigh Brothers Ltd. and Hardy's Channel Fish Co-operative will all be connected by September.
Gordon Jeffery of Five Star Shellfish said that with the line going through, other businesses along it will also benefit when the need arises.
Jeffery said benefits include lower electrical costs and being able to operate all of the business's equipment at once. There have been times, he said, that they have had to shut down parts of their operation to run specific pieces of equipment.
Having three-phase power also helps guard against vibrio, a naturally-occurring bacteria if oysters are not cooled down quickly enough.
"We have to run that (new cooler) to cool our oysters down for 24 hours before we ship them out, so that cooler's running hard," said Five Star Shellfish's Wyatt Jeffery.
"When we run to full capacity, our power will shut right off. Everything goes black," added Annand, who already has equipment on order that will require three-phase power.
"This will really help us."
"This upgrade to three-phase power will be a contributing factor to the growth and prosperity of seafood processing and, in turn, a boost to our local economy," Milligan added.