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Michelin to make announcement in Nova Scotia

WATERVILLE, N.S. - The North American president of Michelin and Premier Darrell Dexter are expected to announce funding Thursday for the company's tire plant in the province's Annapolis Valley.

Dana LeBlanc and Dexter are scheduled to attend the announcement in Waterville, where Michelin employs about 1,300 people.

A spokeswoman for the company says the announcement is positive news for the factory, but declined to give further details.

Michelin postponed plans for an announcement in Waterville last July and at the time didn't give any reasons for its decision.

The tire manufacturer has been looking at expanding its operations in the community.

Last May, Dexter announced the launch of a study that would look at relocating the Waterville Municipal Airport to allow for expansion at Michelin. That study was expected to be complete by the end of October.

A spokeswoman for the government says it has a draft of the study but needs more time to review it and brief local councillors before releasing it.

Michelin announced a $72-million investment along with a $10-million contribution from the province for the Waterville plant in 2006.

At the time, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency also provided a $10-million loan, with the bulk of that money due to be repaid in 2041.

The company employs about 3,500 throughout the province.

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