Hiram Walker moves $9-million boiler into plant
Hiram Walker and Sons has added a massive piece of infrastructure, a move the company’s leaders say is proof the distillery is here to stay in Windsor.
A $9-million boiler was moved into the plant on Thursday and CTV News was the only member of the media invited onto the property to watch the installation.
Vice President of Production Jim Stanski says the decision to replace the old boilers was made eight years ago by management at Pernod Ricard in Paris, France.
But Stanski says it was a decision that had to be made, since the old boilers in the plant are more than 60 years old and were not operating as efficient as possible.
The 170-tonne, custom-made boiler was made in St. Catherines. High winds last week kept the barge docked in Port Colborne before it sailed into Windsor on Wednesday.
Power Plant Manager Mario Desjardins says three years of work went into the preparation for the installation. Staff had to take out the entire southern wall of the plant to make way for the new arrival.
Director of Maintenance Operations Neil Bishop says they will be able to run the entire plant’s operations with one boiler. Right now, the load is split between two boilers.
Steve Taylor of Unifor Local 2027 admits the move will add job security for the 300 employees at Hiram Walker.
The Chief Operating Officer for the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation Rakesh Naidu says the move is also good news for the region. Naidu notes the Hiram Walker alone adds $300-million to the Windsor Essex economy, “not to mention the other significant number of job creations that happen through their activities here.”
The boiler is expected to be in operation at Hiram Walker in March 2017.