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July 29, 2009

Industrial Fabrication Facility Set for Argentia

Argentia is the site of a new manufacturing operation that will employ approximately 130 people, supplying specialized steel pressure containers to mining, oil and gas, and other industries. Alberta-based JV Driver Corporation will establish the facility, with the total value of the start-up of the operation estimated at $10 million, including a contribution of $4 million from the Provincial Government�s Business Attraction Fund.

"Our government is extremely pleased to support this significant, new business venture, and I welcome JV Driver�s expansion to the province," said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Business. "Attracting this new business will create many well-paying, technical and skilled trade jobs in the Placentia area, as well as spin-off activity for local companies through subcontracting and procurement."

JV Driver is partnering with local firm D.F. Barnes Group (DFB) to establish the manufacturing operation, which will be called Argentia Metalworks. Over the next five years, Argentia Metalworks expects to create approximately 130 new jobs, most of which will be in welding, equipment operation and other skilled trades. Close to 60 of those workers are expected to be hired by the end of 2010. JV Driver has acquired an existing 50,000 square-foot building that will be renovated for the facility.

Argentia Metalworks will have the capacity to design and manufacture pressure vessels primarily for use in resource industry sectors. Pressure vessels are special steel containers built to operate under very high pressure, and are used extensively in mining, oil and gas extraction and refining, petrochemical plants, as storage tanks for liquefied gases, and other industrial uses. The fabrication of pressure vessels involves specialized welding capabilities and facilities, and the vessels require rigorous testing and approvals.

"We are enthusiastic about Newfoundland and Labrador�s growing industrial activity and business prospects," said Peter Glass, Vice-President of Strategic Alliances with JV Driver. "Through our partnership with DFB, we are very pleased to locate a new facility in Argentia, a move that will expand our company�s market reach."

The Argentia operation will capitalize on the growing demand for pressure vessels from Newfoundland and Labrador�s industrial projects and markets elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Argentia Metalworks will service the pressure vessel market end-to-end, from design and fabrication, to delivery and installation.

JV Driver is one of the largest industrial construction companies in Western Canada with a track record of involvement in the oil and gas, energy, petrochemical, mining and forest products industries. The company seized the opportunity to expand to Newfoundland and Labrador�s industrial market because of access to fabrication capabilities, a trained labour force, local expertise provided by DFB, and capital funding.

This venture will also add to the economic activity generated in the area from Vale Inco�s hydromet processing plant at nearby Long Harbour, which is in the construction phase.

"I am delighted to welcome Argentia Metalworks to Argentia," said Felix Collins, MHA, Placentia-St. Mary�s. "Along with the Vale Inco related work, this is a further indicator of the rejuvenation of the area�s economy. Not only will it be another economic boost to this area, but it will benefit all regions of the district of Placentia-St.Mary�s. I am pleased that our government is making such a significant commitment to this area and I extend my best wishes to the company for a long and successful stay in Argentia."

The Provincial Government�s investment of $4 million was made available through the Business Attraction Fund, and will be a combination of redeemable preferred shares in the joint venture company and a grant. A total of $1 million of this funding is tied to the company achieving employment targets. As well, half of government�s contribution is designated for supporting costs of training workers and acquiring specialized equipment.

"Newfoundland and Labrador proved to be an ideal fit for this business opportunity," said Minister Wiseman. "With favourable costs and location, and a strong local partner with valuable expertise, talent and market experience, Argentia Metalworks will be well-positioned to succeed in supplying customers in Canada and internationally. Even in today�s stormy global economic climate, Newfoundland and Labrador has a lot to offer investors, and we will continue to seek out and seize opportunities to bring new business to the province."

With $29 million allocated in Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation, the Business Attraction Fund and accompanying grants funding is administered by the Department of Business. The program provides loans and equity investments to facilitate companies in establishing or expanding operations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Media contacts:

Mark King
Director of Communications
Department of Business
709-729-7628, 699-3454
Sarah Constantine
Public Relations Consultant
m5pr for JV DRIVER
709-738-5116, 699-6722
Donna Ivey
Communications Manager
Government Members� Office
709-729-0898, 697-1424

2009 07 29                                                  11:30 a.m.

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