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Remedial work continues at Elk Falls

The Elk Falls pulp mill site (shown here around the time it shut down) has changed hands once again but the project manager expects to see more focus on the proposed LNG site this year.

Though progress on the Discovery LNG project has stalled since Rockyview Resources purchased the property in May, Troy Whittle, project supervisor is hopeful that the new year will see more focus on the project.

“They don’t have any intention of selling it, for example, not at this stage in the game,” Whittle said. “They believe there is opportunity here for development and employment and a good tax base to come back to the town as well.”

In the meantime, Whittle and the two other Discovery LNG staff are improving the site and controlling environmental issues that come up.

Whittle said that asbestos has been an ongoing problem on the site as well as contaminated soil.

“Generally most of the work that we have done on the site is done by contractors,” he said.

They have worked with T-MAR and Nanaimo Foundry as well as various environmental groups, Whittle said.

“This year something should be happening.”

Rockyview Resources Inc. purchased the Elk Falls Paper Mill site in May of 2016 after the previous owner, Quicksilver Resources Canada went bankrupt.

The Calgary-based company purchased all of Quicksilver’s properties in B.C., said Whittle.

So far they have been busy with their acquisitions in northern B.C. and Alberta, but they have been conducting feasibility studies and exploring opportunities for the decommissioned pulp mill.

Quicksilver intended on using the site for a Liquefied Natural Gas plant, which could cool the natural gas that was brought to the site from their property in the Horn River Basin, and other areas, for transport to Asia.

According to the Discovery LNG website, the new owner, Rockyview Resources, is also investigating the possibility of an LNG facility.

“Discovery LNG would provide a brand new page in the history of the Campbell River project site, formerly occupied by Catalyst Paper,” the website says. “The potential multi-billion dollar project would be an important contributor to the local economy and would be built on an industrial site, previously used by the Elk Falls Mill, which would  be re-mediated over the life of the project.”

Rockyview also promises, via the website, to expand B.C.’s opportunities in the global LNG market, contribute to the local and provincial economy by creating jobs and bringing billions in tax and royalty revenue and replace the usage of high emission fossil fuel with cleaner natural gas generation.

Quicksilver hoped to have the plant up and running by 2021, but with the change in ownership of the property there is not yet a new timeline.