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Pelican International expands kayak production

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Pelican International owners, Antoine (left) and Christian Elie, have announced the opening of a new production facility in Canada.

Canadian manufacturer Pelican International is opening a second production facility to keep pace with the growing demand for its plastic kayaks.

Capacity at the company’s current plant in Laval, Quebec has reached maximum and the business has had to contract out some of its work.

Marketing Director Vincent Bedard pointed to recreational fishermen as one group turning to thermoplastic kayaks. Pelican became the official sponsor of the 2016 Kayak Bass Series in January.

The new site, in Salaberry, south Quebec, will reportedly cost tens of millions and the factory will occupy 145,000 square feet of an old weaving mill, to which a further 160,000 square feet will be added.

Pelican exports to more than 50 countries and claims to be the largest plastic boat maker in the world. It specialises in thermoforming, a much faster process than rotational moulding, and has produced well over two million boats.

The company employs around 450 people at seasonal peaks at Laval and anticipates hiring 200 at Salaberry in the next few years. Pelican was founded in 1968 and has been owned by brothers Antoine and Christian Elie since the 1980s.

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