Chitin plant shelved in Bay de Verde

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON MU­NIC­I­PAL­I­TIES editor@CB­N­com­pass.ca

The plan to es­tab­lish a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar chitin and chi­tosan pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Bay de Verde ap­pears to have been qui­etly shelved.

In a news re­lease, the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Con­ser­va­tion an­nounced that Quin­lan Broth­ers Ltd. has with­drawn its ap­pli­ca­tion for en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment.

Sev­eral years ago, the com­pany looked to es­tab­lish a sim­i­lar op­er­a­tion in Old Per­li­can to pro­duce chitin and chi­tosan, which are nat­u­ral de­riv­a­tives of shrimp and crab shell waste. It can be used in wa­ter treat­ment sys­tems, drilling flu­ids and cos­metic prod­ucts.

De­spite the prov­ince’s ap­proval of an en­vi­ron­men­tal pre­view re­port in March of 2009, there was enough op­po­si­tion from Old Per­li­can res­i­dents to shelve the project un­til Quin­lan Broth­ers looked at Bay de Verde as a op­tion. The com­pany has fa­cil­i­ties in both com­mu­ni­ties.

Res­i­dents of Bay de Verde had their own en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns about the project, and the town coun­cil nar­rowly voted to ap­prove it in 2011 by a 4-3 mar­gin. The Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal and Con­ser­va­tion re­quested an en­vi­ron­men­tal pre­view re­port in Au­gust of that year and is­sued guide­lines for pre­par­ing that re­port two months later. The re­port was never sub­mit­ted.

Last month, the same gov­ern­ment depart­ment an­nounced that Quin­lan Broth­ers was look­ing to de­velop a shell by-prod­uct dry­ing fa­cil­ity. It would be lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately 600 me­tres off the main road in Bay de Verde along the same route where shell waste is cur­rently sent to a lo­cal land­fill.

The chem­i­cal-free dry­ing process would only in­volve emis­sions of steam. The project is cur­rently un­der­go­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

The Quin­lan Broth­ers Ltd. plant in Bay de Verde. The com­pany re­cently shelved plans to build a chitin pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in the com­mu­nity.

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