Calgary geomembrane plant shuttered (April 01, 2003)
Gundle/SLT Environmental Inc. has shut down its Calgary-based geomembrane manufacturing operation, GSE Lining Technology Ltd. According to a spokesperson at the plant, the facility closed its doors Ma...
Gundle/SLT Environmental Inc. has shut down its Calgary-based geomembrane manufacturing operation, GSE Lining Technology Ltd. According to a spokesperson at the plant, the facility closed its doors March 1, 2003. Manufacturing operations had been shut down since Dec. 31, 2002, and the majority of the plant’s equipment, including the facility’s geomembrane blown-film extrusion line, was transferred to the parent company’s main manufacturing plant in Houston, TX.
The plant, formerly operated by Columbia Geosystems Ltd., was purchased by GSE in February 2002. GSE is a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. Executives at GSE’s Houston office declined to comment on the plant closing, however a former manager at the Calgary plant said the decision “came out of the blue”. The plant’s 30 employees were told the action was taken to reduce costs.
“We were a low-cost, profitable operation,” said the former employee. “Our quality was top in the industry.”
The former manager said the plant closing will leave GSE without a presence in the Canadian dealer network for geomembrane. Groupe Solmax Inc., located in Varennes, QC, is now the only company in Canada manufacturing geomembrane.
GSE has however increased its business presence in Egypt, by purchasing its joint-venture partner’s 49.99% interest in an Egyptian geomembrane manufacturing venture. “Egypt’s a huge market for geomembrane right now,” said GSE spokesman Mark Harris. “The Egyptian government is encouraging settlement of desert regions and building canals to divert water into these areas, as well as for infrastructure needs.”
According to a press release, GSE’s buyout of its partner will allow the Egyptian plant to manufacture products for export into the Middle East and Africa — a strategy that has been previously restricted by the j-v agreement.