Oregon-based Esco Corporation plans to close a steel foundry in Nisku, Alberta, citing weakening demand for mining equipment. “After a peak in 2012, global demand for mining products continues to soften,” explained Jeff Kershaw, president of ESCO’s Mining Division. “What’s more, market conditions do not currently show signs of returning to a level necessary to support Esco’s existing foundry capacity.”
Kershaw predicted the closing would help to bring Esco’s production volume into line with global demand.
The closing, which is scheduled for mid-August, will eliminate the jobs of 110 workers. The equipment there will be decommissioned and stored for use by other Esco foundries.
In its announcement Esco said the six-month advanced notice was made to give employees time to prepare for their transition outside of the company. It will offer separation benefits to salaried employees affected by the closing.
Esco designs and manufactures wear-related products for mining and construction. Its castings are used in abrasive digging, recycling, excavation, drilling, snow plowing, and similarly demanding applications.
The Alberta foundry was purchased in 2005 and is focused on mining industry products,
Workers representatives were surprised by the closure decision. According to a local news report, the United Steel Workers union was preparing to negotiate a new contract for the foundry’s employees.
“We are disappointed to lose the Nisku group from the ESCO family,” Kershaw stated. “This is a hard-working team of dedicated employees, so this is a very difficult closure for us.”