Contractors bid on mill demolition

Companies interested in demolishing equipment and structures at the Catalyst mill visited the Elk Falls site this week.

Companies interested in demolishing equipment and structures at the Catalyst mill visited the Elk Falls site this week.

Catalyst is taking bids from companies to clear out its former mill site and expected 25 companies to have gone through the facility by week’s end.

Rick Anglin, Elk Falls mill site manager, said the companies attended a pre-bid meeting on Wednesday and did a site walk.

He said a few of the companies were Campbell River-based but others are headquartered in Vancouver but have a division in Campbell River. Other companies were from the United States and Eastern Canada.

Anglin said although the companies may be based elsewhere, there is a good chance local workers may be hired to do the work.

“We’ve introduced the companies to local businesses, so they can use local business for the work – and most said they would,” Anglin said. “They’d use a lot of the Campbell River workforce.”

Anglin said the successful contractor is expected to be selected in January and the plan is to have the contractor begin the work shortly afterwards.

“The two-year demolition process will level a significant portion of the former pulp and paper manufacturing site in preparation for other possible industrial uses,” said a news release from Catalyst. “Certain buildings and infrastructure will be retained intact for potential future development. All work will be completed in accordance with safety, hazardous material assessment and applicable environmental permits and regulations.”

Meanwhile, Catalyst continues to work with Rivercorp, the city’s economic development organization, to attract new development to the site. Vic Goodman, Rivercorp’s Chief Executive Officer, told council in August that Rivercorp is “working with Catalyst to help them in whatever way possible to bring back business to that site.”

So far, nothing has been announced for the site.

“Catalyst remains open to re-development concepts that can utilize the site’s established industrial infrastructure and bring new business and jobs to the region,” according to the Catalyst news release. “However, the company has no specific agreement in place for the site at this time. Any redevelopment project will be subject to existing regulations and environmental requirements.”

Catalyst, with the help of local businesses, has been dismantling its machinery since last summer.

“We’ve continued to move parts and equipment to other facilities rather than leaving them idle at the site,” Lyn Brown, Catalyst’s vice-president of corporate relations, told the Mirror last month.

Catalyst permanently closed its paper mill in Campbell River in September 2010.

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