NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Perry Power, human resource manager with Grieg NL, said the company was excited to learn the provincial government had released the company’s Placentia Bay Aquaculture project from the environmental assessment process.
“Clearly, we’re extremely happy,” he said. “It’s been a long road, a very involved process with the government, but we’re very pleased with the results. We’re excited, and we’re excited for the whole area.”
The provincial government announced on Thursday, Sept. 6, that the project by Grieg NL, which includes a salmon hatchery in Marystown and 11 sea cages in Placentia Bay, would be cleared from the environmental assessment process.
He added that the announcement will be the beginning of what will be one of the “anchor industries” for the Burin Peninsula.
Power told The Southern Gazette work will begin within the next number of weeks to prepare the site for the construction of the three buildings.
He added that before work can begin at the site, the company must submit some information to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment.
“Phase 1 is the civil works, which is site readiness,” he said. “Before we were interrupted, that was already awarded to Pennecon … They’ll be doing everything from blasting to general site readiness.”
Power said Phase 2, dealing with the laying of concrete for the facility, has yet to be awarded, but “that’s when you’ll see a big up-swing in employment.”
He said the initial construction phase, which will consist of the hatchery, the smoltification facility and the post-smolt facility, will take from 18 to 24 months.
The Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment explained that as part of the release, the project will be subject to more than 15 terms and conditions that will ensure development proceeds in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Power said that with a project the size of the one being carried out by Grieg NL, it is common to have a number of conditions to follow.
“You rarely see a release without conditions for something of this nature, but they’re not unanticipated and most of them are operational, not construction. We feel we have a good grasp on all of them and we are confident none will be an encumbrance to moving ahead.”
Marystown Mayor Sam Synard said it is time for the project to proceed.
“Grieg sea farms has gone through a rigorous, lengthy and detailed environmental assessment process … Let’s get on to the next stage — the construction phase,” Synard said. “When it’s all up and running its going to create 600 jobs in Placentia Bay, and another 1,200 spinoff jobs.”
He said the project would also result in the Marystown Shipyard being reactivated to serve as a supply base for aquaculture projects throughout Canada, creating “another couple hundred jobs.”
Synard said the announcement will better position the town in its efforts to purchase the facility, which is currently owned by Kiewit.
“We are in discussions as we speak with Kiewit to purchase the shipyard, and we are in discussions with a Norwegian company as we speak to lease the shipyard from us once we acquire ownership.”