EIA to be North American entry for Chinese company
Edmonton International Airport is opening the door to increased investment from Asia for the Edmonton Metro Region with its newest tenant for Airport City.
An agreement was signed between Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and Plant Box, a Chinese-based company that specializes in LED lighting systems designed for indoor plant growth, such as hydroponics. EIA will be the North American entry point and logistical hub for this company, as well as home for its main manufacturing and distribution centre in North America.
“We looked at multiple venues across North America for this investment and determined that the Edmonton Metro Region and EIA was the perfect fit to be our North American home. EIA offers several advantages not seen at other airports and we hope this will be the start of a long and successful relationship for our company in North America,” said Steve Loo, executive director of Plant Box in China.
Plant Box will initially market to small and medium-sized commercial operators and post-secondary and academic institutions across North America that specialize in indoor plant growth, in particular those working in the cannabis sector. Retail sales targeted at consumers may be possible in the future.
“This is a perfect example of how Airport City works,” said Myron Keehn, EIA vice-president of Air Service and Commercial Development. “Plant Box will import materials and build technology which will increase the production of agricultural products for export from North America.”
Plant Box chose EIA for its investment because it is the most northern major airport in North America that operates 24-7 and can provide direct circumpolar access to and from Asian markets. It is well positioned to operate as a gateway into North America for air cargo access from Asia and distribute across North America from its proximity to major rail and highway infrastructure. Plant Box will also benefit from reduced trade barriers thanks to Western Economic Diversification’s establishment of a foreign trade zone (FTZ) point at EIA. Plant Box will initially lease existing warehouse space at EIA for its manufacturing centre.
“We welcome Plant Box’s contribution to communities seeking healthy and reliable food production methods,” said Malcolm Bruce, CEO of Edmonton Global. “The global connections that will be developed in this project will further strengthen our already impressive regional logistics and manufacturing sectors and will generate jobs across the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.”