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Reston new business gets expansion investment

A new business in Reston has attracted provincial support for the expansion of its operation.

Power HV Inc., located at 403-6th Ave, has received $62,000 to expand their business. The company manufactures and sells electrical bushings and sensors.

Funding through Manitoba’s Innovation Growth Program (IGP) will help the company in their production and testing of new power transmission line bushing and sensor prototypes. Greg Nesbitt, MLA for Riding Mountain, explained “Our government’s investment will help… Manitoba-based companies build their businesses by reducing their risk associated with developing innovative products, accelerating their growth and strengthening their financial position to secure future funding.”

CEO of Power HV, Dr. Sizwe Dhlamini says the business is busy building its future: “Right now we are working to secure orders of sensors and bushings in the markets where we focus, which is Canada, USA, China and South Africa. Our aim at Power HV is to run a continuous production manufacturing business that can employ between 20 to 60 full time staff by the year 2023.”

This start-up in Reston follows the work done by the RM of Pipestone Economic Development Corporation to showcase the community’s friendly business climate.

Tanis Chalmers for the Development Corporation says, “Power HV had been in discussions with parties at marketing events and the RM of Pipestone was on the top of their list.  A combination of the municipal programs, marketing, and proximity to Saskatchewan led Power HV to our location.”

“The local government in Reston is very supportive of technology businesses such as ours,” says Dhlamini.

Power HV makes two products for electricity grid customers, namely: monitoring sensors and software as well as bushings for transformers and switchgear. The sensors also have a use in the oil and gas industry for methane leak detection.

LOCATION, LOCATION

This young company works to order, manufacturing in response to the orders. When production slows, development ramps up.

The business development team is led by Scott Russell who engages with utilities and with original equipment manufacturers who need what Power HV can produce.

“Our sensors software user interface is developed by our software engineering team working from Winnipeg where we rent office space from Manitoba Technology Accelerator at 136 Market Ave.”

Power HV was founded in Newfoundland in 2015. However, factors including costly factory space, shipping costs and availability of testing led the company executives to seek out the Reston location.

“We quickly found that factory space for making bushings was extremely costly to lease or to build. We did not want to outsource manufacturing because we wanted to protect our patent until we have significant market demand for our products,” says Dhlamini. “In addition, we had to ship items to Manitoba for high voltage testing, because there are no HV labs in N.L. We were able pass regulatory high voltage test requirements and get most of the certifications for our products because of the facility we have in Reston and easier access to test labs.”

Reston is the site of bushings design and manufacturing, as well as hardware design and production of partial discharge sensors, led by Dr. Dhlamini.

Coding of micro controllers is done in St John's, Newfoundland under the leadership of CTO, Dr. Zijun Gong.

Reston is also a good fit since Power HV produces products that fill a need within the oil and gas industry.

Dhlamini says it’s a win-win situation. “When they buy from us, this allows us to pay competitive salaries to local people in the community to help us with production.”

The Manitoba government’s IGP launched in June 2019 and provides up to $100,000 in 50-50 cost-shared, non-repayable financial assistance. To date, the province’s total investment of up to $1.9 million for 27 small and medium-size businesses is projected to create more than 900 jobs within five years. Small businesses are encouraged to apply for the current intake by Dec. 15.