Skeena pulp mill an economic drag
The future of the former Skeena Cellulose pulp mill — shuttered for more than a decade now — needs to be settled in order to chart better economic waters, Prince Rupert city officials say.
January 24, 2013 By Vancouver Sun
The north coast city has seen some economic improvement with the new Fairview container terminal and an expanded Ridley terminal that handles coal and pellets, as well as prospects of natural gas exports.
But the long-defunct pulp mill remains a drag on the city’s economic potential, according to a Vancouver Sun article.
While the north coast city has offset the $1-million annual cost of looking after the site with revenues from an exclusive development agreement with a consortium that wants to turn the 300-acre site into a seaport — as well as some leases — city staff and council are spending too much energy on managing and trying to sell the industrial lands, says Prince Rupert mayor Jack Mussallem.
The city ended up with the 100-hectare pulp mill site after it was seized from Sun Wave Forest Products for not paying taxes. The Chinese-backed company had planned to reopen the pulp mill but never did.
Since late 2009, the City of Prince Rupert has had to provide security, environmental testing and other monitoring for the vast mill site, where pulp mill tanks still hold chemicals.
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