Long Harbour corp. and Vale Inco reach deal on property
The Long Harbour Development Corp. has reached a lucrative deal to sell wharf properties to Vale Inco in preparation for the company's nickel processing plant in the community. Telegram file photo
The Long Harbour Development Corp. has concluded an agreement to sell wharf properties to Vale Inco in a "milestone" deal that means a pot of millions for possible future work in the town.
"I think the town has a reason to be very excited about this," said Gary Keating, Long Harbour's mayor and chairman of the development corporation.
"There's a lot of towns in this province that could only wish they were in the position that the town of Long Harbour and Mount Arlington Heights will be into (now), and will move into in the future."
The recently completed sale agreement sees the corporation get $9.15 million from Vale Inco.
On the other side of the ledger, the development corporation bought out a long-term lease agreement with Maher's Industrial Services for $4.8 million, and spent roughly $2 million for the removal of an old vessel from the south side of the wharf, Keating said.
Those expenses leave the Long Harbour Development Corp. with a kitty of $2.35 million.
Keating said there are a number of potential initiatives being considered for the cash.
Those include upgrading and building new infrastructure in the town, helping volunteer organizations, marketing local companies, planning a local industrial business park and possible new recreation facilities in the area.
In 2000, the development corporation entered into a long-term arrangement with Maher's Industrial Services to find users for the site, Keating noted.
He said Maher's made a number of efforts over the years to secure a partner to co-develop the site, and also made an effort to sell it. But there was no success on either front, Keating noted.
"We were six years struggling, trying to get development on that site," he said.
In 2006, Inco announced the decision to locate its commercial plant at Long Harbour.
That sparked negotiations to buy out the lease agreement, Keating said.
In January, nickel giant Vale Inco and the province announced a deal allowing construction to begin this spring on the $2.2-billion processing plant in Long Harbour.
The province OK'd a 14-month extension, setting the deadline for completion in February 2013.
Vale Inco has committed that 77 per cent of the total project employment will be in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The project is expected to create 1,600 construction jobs per year and employ 400 people once it is running.