Penticton's $100-million project to build 1,500 housing units in Alberta could be the first of several contracts to accommodate people working in B.C.'s gas industry, Premier Christy Clark said Friday.
Britco, which manufactures modular buildings at its Penticton plant, has been commissioned to make more than 1,500 rooms for Devon Energy, an oil and natural-gas company, in Northern Alberta.
During her appearance at the Penticton plant, Clark suggested Britco will benefit if her vision of producing liquefied natural gas in B.C. and supplying it to Asia is realized. Workers building the pipelines will need temporary housing, and business for Britco is "going to explode," she said.
The B.C.-based company, which has a sister facility in Agassiz, has more than 1,000 employees in Australia, Canada and the U.S., making it one of the largest modular-construction companies.
The Devon contract is expected to provide 275 full-time jobs for a year in Penticton and Agassiz. Britco starts production in November and is scheduled to finish by late 2015.
It's the company's second building project for Devon. Britco completed an 880-room facility for workers in the same region south of Fort McMurray.
"To draw the best and brightest to work on our successful oilsands projects, we need superior accommodations. Britco delivered a quality product safely and on time," said Chris Seasons, president of Devon Canada.
Clark happened to be in town for the announcement. She visited the facility during last spring's election campaign, and seized the chance to expound on one of her main platforms - exports of liquefied natural gas promise to be a cash cow for the province, spawning jobs and eliminating the deficit.
Many have scoffed at the plan, suggesting it will cost billions to build the infrastructure when there's no guarantee the demand for natural gas will justify the costs. Clark contends the industry could generate tens of thousands of jobs and help pay off the provincial debt.
Clark also visited Okanagan College in Kelowna and Alpine Aerotech in West Kelowna, which manufactures seats and parts for Bell helicopters.