On Thursday, July 28, CGC, supplier of wallboard, announced it would be building a $210 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Wheatland County.
CGC is a division of USG Corporation. President and CEO of USG Corporation Chris Griffin, was joined by Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, Nate Horner and Wheatland Reeve Amber Link in making the announcement.
“As a Canadian myself, expanding our presence in Western Canada and better serving our customers in the region has been a passion of mine since joining CGC over 20 years ago. More so, tapping into Albertans’ culture of innovation, entrepreneurism and talent attraction is incredibly valuable for our company, employees and customers. It is an opportunity we couldn’t miss,” said Griffin.
“This will be CGC's largest capital investment in Canada in decades, it will be our first new wallboard plant anywhere in North America since 2007.”
He said the project is planned to start in 2023 and will bring 200 construction jobs to the area, and over 100 full-time jobs when operating. This investment cements their commitment to the Canadian market and will help them serve Western Canada more efficiently. The plant is expected to produce 454 million square feet of wallboard on an annual basis. It will be located in the Goldfinch Industrial area near Carseland, where the announcement was made.
He explains that it is invested greatly in sustainability. The plant will be entirely powered by onsite solar power, a $10 million investment. The plant will produce its EcoSmart Panels, which are the lightest and most sustainable wallboard product. It uses less water and energy in manufacturing, with 100 per cent recycled paper. The plant will also take a zero waste approach.
“100 per cent of production waste will be recycled back into the manufacturing process. Nothing from this plant will go into a landfill,” said Griffin.
“Taken together, this holistic approach to sustainability at CGC Wheatland will result in a net CO2 reduction equivalent to removing 10,000 cars from Canada’s roads.”
Reeve Link said the County has worked hard to attract this investment. In 2021, Wheatland County Council approved Bylaw 2021-23, making Wheatland County one of the first municipalities in Alberta to implement a municipal property tax incentive: Wheatland is Open for Business.
“Wheatland County Council has been laser-focused on cultivating a development landscape conducive to diversifying our rural economy and driving job creation through strategic growth,” said Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link.
The Government of Alberta and Invest Alberta Corporation worked with CGC for more than a year on this project, and will provide $3.74 million from the Investment and Growth Fund to support CGC’s expansion to rural Alberta.
“Alberta’s government has made a concerted effort to advance economic diversification and make our province the most attractive destination for investment in North America,” said Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development. “CGC’s decision to locate their $210 million wallboard manufacturing plant in Wheatland County is more proof that our plan working, creating jobs, and delivering tangible wins to rural communities.”
Griffin said Wheatland county is a great fit.
“Number one, we needed scale. Let's face it. We needed land, and they have land here, But really it was around Reeve Amber Link and her team. They made us feel really welcome from day one and they really wanted us to be here, that was really exciting for us," said Griffin.