THE CITY of Terrace has found a first customer for its Skeena Industrial Park located just south of the Northwest Regional Airport.
Global Dewatering Ltd. and the city have a tentative deal worth $250,000 for the former to buy 4.384 hectares of uncleared land located on the north side of the access road leading into the property from Hwy37.
Global Dewatering specializes in the removing of groundwater to make industrial sites drier.
The company has been working on Rio Tinto Alcan’s smelter modernization project in Kitimat and has its eye on the northwest’s industrial potential, says company president Bob Cartwright.
“We think it’s a good position to be in Terrace in that anything that has to go through to Kitimat or Prince Rupert has to go through Terrace. We think it’s a good strategic location.”
“Anything that requires groundwater dewatering,” Cartwright said of his company’s expertise. “Just for localized excavation and buildings and that sort of thing. We have systems that will lower the groundwater table to enable a dry excavation.”
Cartwright wants to begin using the Skeena Industrial Park site in September for equipment storage and then eventually build a 4,000 square foot warehouse in the next few years as well as a fenced lot.
The company first looked for land in Kitimat but then settled on the Skeena Industrial Park because of cost, said Cartwright.
“The price point in Kitimat was not very favourable, let’s put it that way. They are asking a lot of money in Kitimat,” he said.
Originally formed in Kelowna two and a half years ago, Global Dewatering has so far only done work on the Kitimat smelter modernization project.
To date they have done this work for a larger company named IDL which is the prime contractor for the earthworks component on the smelter project.
“Global Dewatering only employs half a dozen people now but we piggyback with IDL projects and do stuff with them and they employ probably 500 or so all over. We would jointly occupy the site,” said Cartwright
The purchase of this city-owned land south of Terrace will mean increased property tax in municipal coffers, and mayor David Pernarowski said he is excited about closing this particular deal as soon as possible.
The sales agreement is not yet final and final pricing could be affected by issues such as infrastructure, says city chief administrative officer Heather Avison.
She said details as to provision of services by either Global or by the city are not yet available.
The land is part of 88 hectares purchased by the city from the provincial government two years ago, the start of what the city hopes will eventually be an industrial park development taking in just over 800 hectares (2,000 acres).
Last year the city and Chinese-owned YaoRun Wood Company Ltd. were working on a deal for land at the park until the latter decided instead to lease another city-owned property, the former Skeena Cellulose/Terrace Lumber Company log yard on Keith Ave.
And in 2009, when a number of companies became interested in using the northwest’s forests to manufacture various types of bio-fuel, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with Calgary-based GV Energy that might have brought on a land purchase. But that agreement ran out and was never renewed.