Port of Ar­gen­tia CEO views project as show­case for fur­ther in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Compass - - Editorial - BY CHRIS LEWIS editor@cb­n­com­pass.ca BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON editor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

CAR­BON­EAR, NL — Crocker’s Cove point may soon be the lo­ca­tion of a brand new ho­tel.

The ho­tel is still in the plan­ning stages, and noth­ing has been set in stone just yet, but the ap­pli­cant has pur­chased the ma­jor­ity of the land on Crocker’s Cove point re­quired for such a build­ing. The prop­erty was listed online for $139,900.

In the pro­posal, it is stated that the ho­tel will con­tain ap­prox­i­mately 45-50 rooms. Some of these rooms will be suites, fac­ing to­ward the ocean and Car­bon­ear Island.

Car­bon­ear Mayor George Butt Jr. says the ho­tel will hope­fully bring plenty more vis­i­tors to the area in the fu­ture, and is op­ti­mistic about the ben­e­fits of a new ho­tel in the re­gion.

“If it goes ahead, which we hope it will, it will def­i­nitely have good eco­nomic ben­e­fits for the area,” said Butt. “Some­thing like that will no doubt bring in more peo­ple, more tourists, and that means we’ll have more peo­ple to come see what the town has to of­fer, which comes hand in hand with some good eco­nomic ben­e­fits. It’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion, re­ally.”

Butt added that he’s sure there The area where the ho­tel is planned to be de­vel­oped cur­rently sits on a zone split be­tween res­i­den­tial and con­ser­va­tion.

are some peo­ple in the area that won’t like the idea, but said that he and the town need to fo­cus on the long-term ben­e­fits of a new ho­tel.

“Some peo­ple in Crocker’s Cove might not like the ex­tra traf­fic, or might be against the idea of a bus go­ing through there. The area al­ready gets a lot of traf­fic, though, and a bus goes through there on a daily ba­sis, so there re­ally won’t be that big a dif­fer­ence, re­ally,” ex­plained Butt. “But we’re al­ways open to hear any con­cerns from the pub­lic. That’s what’s go­ing to help us make our de­ci­sion, at the end of the day.”

The 2.97 hectare area which the ho­tel is look­ing to be built on is partly res­i­den­tial and partly con­ser­va­tion. Com­mer­cial res­i­den­tial uses in the form of ho­tels are not per­mit­ted in ei­ther of these land use des­ig­na­tions. Be­cause of this, the town has pro­posed an amend­ment to the plan pro­vided by the ap­pli­cant.

Af­ter a re­view of the area, the town has pro­posed to ex­tend the res­i­den­tial land use des­ig­na­tion to in­clude the area that is planned to be de­vel­oped, while adding new poli­cies to the pre­ex­ist­ing res­i­den­tial poli­cies of the plan, ul­ti­mately al­low­ing com­mer­cial ac­com­mo­da­tions. This amend­ment would see the con­ser­va­tion land use zone re­zoned to the res­i­den­tial medium den­sity land use zone.

These amend­ments would also en­able fu­ture re-de­vel­op­ment of the prop­erty for res­i­den­tial use with­out re­quir­ing fur­ther amend­ments to the plan of reg­u­la­tions.

The dead­line for pub­lic com­ments on the pro­posal was May 31.

The town has not yet re­ceived any draw­ings from the ap­pli­cant, which are re­quired for plans to move for­ward.

Butt says once things start mov­ing for­ward again, a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing will be held to al­low res­i­dents to voice their opin­ions.

PLA­CEN­TIA, NL — Husky En­ergy is pro­ceed­ing full speed ahead with a ma­jor ex­ten­sion to the White Rose oil­field, and that’s big news for Pla­cen­tia and the sur­round­ing area.

Two and a half years af­ter the com­pany an­nounced it was de­lay­ing the project in re­sponse to tum­bling oil prices, the time is ap­par­ently right for Husky to start work on the project, which will cre­ate hun­dreds of job and gen­er­ate bil­lions of dol­lars for the prov­ince through taxes and roy­al­ties.

For peo­ple in the Pla­cen­tia area, all eyes will be on ac­tiv­ity at the port in Ar­gen­tia, where a con­crete grav­ity struc­ture will be built. That will tie onto the Sea Rose FPSO to pump ad­di­tional prod­uct from the ex­ist­ing oil field. Con­struc­tion is set to be­gin in the fourth quar­ter of this year, ac­cord­ing to a Husky En­ergy news re­lease is­sued last Mon­day.

“We don’t get too many mega projects knock­ing at the door,” Chris Ne­whook, act­ing CEO for Port of Ar­gen­tia, told The Com­pass last Tues­day. “We see so many ben­e­fits for our com­mu­nity, first-of-all in terms of em­ploy­ment and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, and sec­ond-of-all as the port au­thor­ity and the prop­erty au­thor­ity, the abil­ity to show­case this tremen­dous as­set that we have here in Ar­gen­tia for these types of things.”

In­deed, the busi­ness com­mu­nity is hun­gry to reap the re­wards from eco­nomic spinoffs linked to the project, which will see a new oil plat­form up and run­ning by 2022. Eu­gene Collins rep­re­sents many of those lo­cal busi­nesses as the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Pla­cen­tia Area Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“The spinoff ef­fect is al­ways a con­sid­er­a­tion, and I’m sure that our lo­cal busi­nesses are go­ing to be in a po­si­tion to take ad­van­tage of any op­por­tu­ni­ties that arise,” he told The Com­pass. “We rep­re­sent the big guys and the small guys, so we’d like to see ev­ery­body cer­tainly take ad­van­tage.”

Pla­cen­tia Mayor Wayne Power Jr. like­wise is pleased to see the project is back on track.

“The di­rect and in­di­rect eco­nomic im­pacts as­so­ci­ated with this project will pro­vide many pos­i­tive ben­e­fits to our com­mu­nity,” he said in a news re­lease, adding the town is en­cour­aged to see Husky will hold sup­plier de­vel­op­ment in­for­ma­tion ses­sions de­voted to pro­cure­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Since the White Rose ex­ten­sion was first an­nounced in 2013, em­ploy­ment pro­jec­tions for the project have in­creased by ap­prox­i­mately 72 per cent, ac­cord­ing to a provin­cial govern­ment news re­lease.

Pla­cen­tia re­mains a no­table ser­vice cen­tre for com­mu­ni­ties in the sur­round­ing area, though its pop­u­la­tion has dwin­dled over the last two decades. The 1996 Cana­dian cen­sus placed the town’s pop­u­la­tion at just over 5,000. 20 years later, that fig­ure has dipped just be­low 3,500, rep­re­sent­ing a 30 per cent de­cline.

“Guar­an­teed we’re go­ing to get some work­ers com­ing back to the island and to this area to go to work,” said Collins. “I’m sure a lot of the work­ers that were work­ing in Bull Arm on the Hebron project, they’ll be look­ing to get to Ar­gen­tia to get some work.”

Beyond the spinoff for lo­cal busi­nesses, Ne­whook ex­pects the project will give Ar­gen­tia the chance to prove it­self to the world and at­tract other com­pa­nies within the off­shore or marine sec­tors.

“This is an At­lantic Cana­dian project I guess from one per­spec­tive, but it’s also go­ing to be viewed by the over­all oil in­dus­try, be­cause there’s a new tech­nol­ogy that they’re look­ing to take ad­van­tage of here with this well­head plat­form type of a struc­ture — new to our area any­way, I think it’s been done in the past around the world,” he said. “So it’s go­ing to have a lot of eyes on it, and that’s only go­ing to serve us very well.”

Ne­whook said Port of Ar­gen­tia’s role mov­ing for­ward will be to as­sist stake­hold­ers in the project and help en­sure its suc­cess.

“We’re hop­ing to be able to work with all the stake­hold­ers to see a pos­i­tive out­come from this project so that we can per­haps even con­sider a sec­ond one and a third one in the fu­ture as the off­shore con­tin­ues to grow in New­found­land and Labrador.”

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

If the ho­tel is built at Crocker’s Cove point, there will be a num­ber of suites with a view of Car­bon­ear Island.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Act­ing Port of Ar­gen­tia CEO Chris Ne­whook says the White Rose ex­ten­sion is a sub­stan­tial eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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