• John Jantak

Pilon anticipates economic spin-offs for Vaudreuil-Dorion from Ericsson arrival

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Construction continues at the new Ericsson Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion. When completed, the new facility will have 430,000 square feet of floor space. It is scheduled to open in early June 2015.

The arrival of the new $1.3 billion Ericsson Information and Technology (ICT) Centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion will produce economic spin-off s in the city, said Mayor Guy Pilon at a press conference last Thursday, September 18. Pilon made the positive assertion, along with Mark Henderson, President of Ericsson Canada; and Graham Osborne, Vice President, Global ICT Program, during a presentation that updated the construction status of the facility being built in the city’s industrial sector north of Highway 40.

Construction is proceeding as planned and the completed facility is scheduled to open June 3, 2015. It will house 430,000 square feet of floor space, the equivalent of eight American football fields, said Henderson. It is one of three global ICT centres being built by Ericsson. Its first centre opened in Linköping, Sweden just over two weeks ago and a second facility will also be built in Sweden.

For Pilon, just the fact that a leading global high technology enterprise like Ericsson chose to locate one of three of its ICT centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion out of 40 possible locations in Canada, is a coup in itself because it shows that the city has something to offer the world, especially when it comes to hi-tech industry. Pilon said the city has already received inquiries from companies interested in possibly locating to its industrial park because of Ericsson.

He also touted the highly skilled workforce that lives in the immediate vicinity and said new enterprises would benefit from a preferential tax rate, lower than other municipalities, among other perks. “The region is very open, the city is very open and we want to attract more industry,” said Pilon. “We know Ericsson being here will eventually help to create more jobs because their decision to come here will attract more companies.”

For Henderson, the feeling is also mutual about the company’s decision to locate to Vaudreuil-Dorion. “I can’t say enough about the support we’ve received locally to get this facility in place,” said Henderson. “And I can’t say enough about what this means to Ericsson Canada. Having this ICT centre here will help grow even more innovation in the country from coastto-coast, particularly here in Quebec.

“It will house our complete portfolio,” added Henderson. “Not only will our engineers around the world be able to boldly connect into the facility and develop on virtualized hardware and software new innovations and products for the company worldwide, it will also house our internal Information Technology (IT) environment, so it’s multipurpose from an internal and development point-of-view.”

Henderson said receiving a preferential hydro usage rate from HydroQuébec and the province’s cold winters also persuaded the company to select Vaudreuil-Dorion. The cold air will help to keep operating systems cool, thereby reducing overall operating costs, and exclusive energy lines will deliver uninterrupted power to the facility to meet its energy requirements. “Our facility requires a lot of power and we had great negotiations with Hydro-Québec,” said Henderson.

“That’s how we came to this site. We have two 25 kilovolt (kV) power lines that will drive 14 megawatts of power in Phase 1 and another 120 kV line in Phase 2 that will drive 45 megawatts of power. This is a very, very big building with a lot of gear in it.” The facility’s close proximity to its operations in Ottawa and Montreal was another major selling point. “It’s a tremendously competent centre of expertise,” said Henderson.

“Canada is one the very few countries in the world where Ericsson is directing a lot of its research and development investment.” The new ICT facility will create about 60 new jobs. “The number one reason we chose Vaudreuil-Dorion is because we have the people here, we have the competence here, the technology leadership, and we’re in a dynamic market being close to the U.S.,” said Osborne. “There are other places we could have selected, but when you put all these factors together, it’s just a great place to be.”

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