Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars will enter the economy in Port Alberni, if a new ship repair complex becomes a reality.
The former plywood lands could soon be home to a floating drydock and ship repair facility if a feasibility study backs the current business plan.
Canadian Maritime Engineering believes Port Alberni will be a critical hub for boat building and ship repair on the west and north coasts, but given the size of the project, a $125,000 pre-feasibility report is needed to secure government and private-sector funding and support.
CME owner Daniel Russell says he’s very confident the feasibility experts will agree with his vision.
Port Alberni Port Authority’s director of business development David McCormick is confident the report will back the business plan.
McCormick says they hope to have the report completed within 3 months, so they can then concentrate on raising the $48 million required to build the facility and install the floating drydock at the former plywood lands.
He said the facility will be well-placed to pursue opportunities like the federal government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy non-combat vessel package, and the major vessel-replacement program underway from BC Ferries.
Mid-Island / Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser announced yesterday the provincial government would contribute $50,000 towards the study, and the city, Port Authority and CME will chip in $25,000 each.