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Vancouver Island manufacturers get $4 million in grants

Grants help manufacturers on Vancouver Island expand, upgrade equipment
Mobile tire repair is one of the industries that use mobile air compressors made by VMAC. | VMAC

A Nanaimo based company that makes mobile heavy duty air compressors is getting help from the provincial government in its expansion plans.

VMAC Global Technology Inc. is receiving $3.4 million from the provincial government through the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund to build a new 5,000-square foot manufacturing plant in Nanaimo. It is one of three companies on Vancouver Island receiving manufacturing grants.

VMAC Global makes mobile air compressors used in a variety of industries, including ones that used compressed air for tools and machinery, like jackhammers. The company employs 180 people.

Another Vancouver Island company receiving a manufacturing grant is Franklin Forest Products in Port Alberni, which is getting $425,000 for equipment upgrades needed to shift from processing old growth logs to smaller log sizes.

"Franklin Forest Products appreciates the financial support from the province,” said Franklin president Mike McKay. “The funds will help retool the operation to become less reliant on old-growth timber and protect the nearly 40 jobs in the Port Alberni community."

BioFlame Briquettes in Chemainus will get $117,320 for a new hammermill and briquette press. BioFlame makes briquettes from logging and sawmill waste.

"Thanks to the BC Manufacturing Fund, BioFlame is able to acquire the necessary equipment to transform low-value wood waste into densified biomass,” said BioFlame CEO Marcus Woernle. “This waste includes construction and logging residue, allowing BioFlame to increase production and meet demand."

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