Watson Island Purchase Proposal
Offer of 5.5 million put on the table by WatCo
The Watson Island Development Corporation has put a conditional offer of five million dollars for the City of Prince Rupert and 500 thousand dollars for the District of Port Edward to purchase Watson Island.
As of right now, the City and the District both have ownership over this piece of property.
The site was formerly Skeena Cellulose Pulp Mill which closed its doors in 2001 and four years later, the mill was purchased by Sun Wave Forest Products, a company with offices located in the Lower Mainland.
“When it gets done and we believe it will, the port will, it will be a seaport. It will be a seaport with an industrial park and as a place that you can get on and off the continent and it should be a good economic generator with employment and good revenue and bring business to the region,” said Tanner Elton, COO of WatCo.
WatCo consists of four shareholders that include the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, the Metlakatla Development Corporation, Colonial Coal International and Hillsborough Resources.
There are also a few other conditions before the purchase can be finalized.
“It’s currently a contaminated site and it has a derelict on it, so we have to develop a remediation plan. We have to develop a repurposing plan and transition plan from its current use the new use, we have to deal with some crushing and regulatory environmental orders and that sort of thing that need to be resolved before we can proceed,” said Elton.
There is also some litigation from a former owner that needs to be resolved as well. Should the final transaction go through, Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla First Nations will hold title to the property and WatCo will hold a 99 year lease on developing and operating a shipping terminal.