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Manufacturing and Processing

Manitoba has a burgeoning manufacturing and processing industry that makes a wide variety of products including aerospace components, buses, farm equipment, French fries, paper products, furniture, windows, clothing and outerwear.

Manufacturing represents approximately 10 per cent of Manitoba's economic output, and is the largest contributor to GDP among industries. Manitoba manufacturers employ about 10 per cent of Manitoba's total employed workforce, and they ship about $17 billion worth of goods annually, with about $9 billion worth of goods exported to foreign markets. Key subsectors include processed foods, transportation equipment (aerospace and heavy duty ground vehicles), primary metals, electrical products, machinery and chemicals.

Prominent companies working in manufacturing and processing in Northern Manitoba include:

  • Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Ltd. - Kraft operates a facility in The Pas that produces heavy kraft paper, which is typically used in making multiwall shipping sacks for sugar, seed, feed, potatoes, cement, etc. The mill ships kraft paper primarily to export markets in the United States, Mexico and around the world.
  • Louisiana-Pacific - A global leader in engineered wood products, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation manufactures oriented strand board at its facility in Swan River. The company recently made a $95 million investment in the facility to allow it to also produce panel and lap siding. The facility is the company's first SmartSide siding mill in Canada.
  • Vale Canada - A wholly-owned subsidiary of Brazilian miner Vale SA, Valet Canada Limited operates a milling, smelting and refining operation in Thompson, to support its significant nickel mining operations there. The smelting and refining operation will be replaced by an expanded mill and concentrator facility, which is currently being built.
  • GLACIER - Established in 2010 in Thompson, the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) is a limited joint venture between Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt & Whitney Canada. The facility performs year-round aerospace engine testing and certification, specializing in engine icing, as well as performance, endurance and specialty testing. In combination with the GE Aviation Engine Testing Research and Development Centre in Winnipeg, GLACIER has helped make Manitoba a global centre for aerospace engine testing, with three of the world's largest engine manufacturers conducting certification testing here for all of their new engines in development. This represents more than 80 per cent of all engines used in today's commercial jet liners.

In addition to the above, the region hosts a diverse array of small and medium sized companies serving local industries and markets in mining, forestry, construction, food, furniture and wood products.