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Surrette Battery Company: Expanding rural power

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Surrette Battery Company is growing. With the help of NSBI’s Innovation Rebate Program, the company is expanding its Springhill facility and incorporating advanced technologies into its production line. Not only will this increase productivity and capacity, it will help create up to 18 skilled, full-time positions.

Canada’s only independent battery manufacturer, Surrette makes and exports premium deep-cycle lead-acid batteries for renewable energy, rail, marine, and motive power applications around the world.

Since 2003, brothers John David Surrette and Jamie Surrette have led the company their grandfather started in New England in 1935. The business relocated to Springhill in 1959, where their father ran it from 1961 until 2003.

99% of Surrette’s batteries are exported beyond Atlantic Canada.

“Our distribution network includes stocking warehouses in 20 countries and sending shipments to 37 countries in the past year,” Jamie Surrette says. “If you want to expand beyond your local market, innovation is imperative.”

NSBI’s rebate has transformed the business, he says. “The Innovation Rebate Program will accelerate our pace by at least two years. It’s tremendous.”

With three phases of growth planned, the additional production capacity from the completed first phase is already being fully used. Phase two, providing additional building and equipment for the second production line, should wrap up in June, and then phase three will start to expand the warehousing and shipping/logistics.

“NSBI has been a tremendous partner,” Surrette says. “Their innovation over the years should be commended. They’ve looked at market and customer needs, and they’ve adjusted accordingly.”

Surrette Battery has grown from fewer than 50 employees in 2003 to 88 today. “The output of the plant facility is nearly four times what it was in 2003,” Surrette says, “and NSBI has been there throughout that entire period.”

When people ask Surrette how the company can compete from Springhill, he doesn’t hesitate. “Springhill is a hard-working community. We’re very, very lucky. Our people are talented and committed, and they take on a lot of responsibility.”

Is your business considering a capital investment to increase your business' competitiveness globally? Reach out to a Regional Business Development Advisor and learn how the Innovation Rebate Program can help grow your business.