People from out of town usually don’t realize how much manufacturing goes on in the Edmonton region. A quick tour of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland to the northeast of the city, the Nisku Industrial Park to the south, and the city’s sprawling industrial parks will soon change that impression. Nearly 40,000 people go to work each day in the Edmonton area to make everything from heavy machinery to food products. Manufacturing adds to the mix that gives Edmonton one of the most diversified economies in Canada.
Here is a statistical profile of Edmonton’s manufacturing sector:
- Manufacturing accounted for 10% of the Edmonton area’s GDP in 2010, worth an estimated $5.2 billion.
- Most of the 2,000 manufacturers in the region are small and medium businesses: 52% employed fewer than 9 people, while 6% of manufacturers employed 100 or more people.
- The manufacturing sector is diverse with 13 sub-sectors accounting for at least 2% of the manufacturing businesses. The dominant sub-sectors are fabricated metal products (23%) and machinery (15%).
- The Edmonton area is home to three petroleum refineries.
No doubt about it, oil and gas is a big driver for Edmonton manufacturers. Bitumen upgraders and petrochemical plants are the most noticeable spinoffs, but there is more:
- Local companies provide drilling rigs and tools, pipe, valves, pressurized vessels, instrumentation and truck trailers to transport oversized goods.
- Machine shops provide custom solutions and repairs.
- A specialized cluster of firms applies coatings and heat treatments to metals and pipes to reduce corrosion, enhance strength and allow operations at higher temperatures.
- Large fabrication shops manufacture components and assemble the multi-million-dollar modules to be used at remote sites by the oil sands industry.
A large share of manufacturing in Edmonton is not directly related to the energy industry:
- A cluster of manufacturers produces materials for industrial, commercial and residential construction. These include windows and doors, curtainwalls for highrise buildings, plus roofing and siding.
- The printing industry serves a local and regional marketplace.
- A small, innovative food-manufacturing sector caters to local consumers and exports locally produced foods.
To learn more about manufacturing in Edmonton, contact:
Manager, Industry Development
Director, Enterprise Edmonton