Martin De Ruyter/Stuff
Kernohan Engineerings chief executie Paul Miller outside Marine & Industrial. Kernohans has bought the long-standing port-based business.
Nelson’s burgeoning food and beverage industries have prompted a local engineering firm to take over a stainless steel manufacturer.
Kernohan Engineering bought Marine and Industrial Stainless Engineering (M&I) in June, adding its five employees to its existing 40.
M&I was part of the Nalder and Biddle suite of companies, and was purchased by then manager Paul Liebezeit in 2013. Liebezeit remains with the Company for a transitional period.
Chief executive Paul Miller said the move positioned the company to help serve sustainable food, water and power sectors heading into the future.
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The development of Cawthron Institute’s National Algae Research Centre, and the proposed science and technology hub at Port Nelson, meant there were upcoming opportunities for engineering firms to service developing industries, he said.
“We see the need for more focus on renewable food, water and power, and we think that there’s a big role that an engineering company can play in to that transition.”
Once the systems and technology was developed, engineering firms had to be positioned to provide the necessary infrastructure.
“When it comes to commercial scale operations then you need to have those services around you to make it a reality … the theme of that ongoing investment will be focused on supporting the renewable industries with a particular focus on food, water and power.”
Acquiring the stainless steel business brought additional skills and space to the company.
While the company was already servicing food and water needs, he planned to expand in to solar and renewable energy, he said.
“We see that is something that’s happening nationally already, and around the world, but one of the barriers of implementation in Nelson will be the ability to install and operate that scale.”
It was vital engineering firms were focused on sustainability and adapting as technology changed, he said.
“What we’re providing is skill to keep plants operating, so that won’t change, but the types of plants we’re operating in will change. That applies to Kernohan and the other engineering companies.”
The company was also committed to retaining its climate postive status – by offsetting 120 per cent of its emissions through Ekos’ carbon offset scheme, he said.