November 6, 2017
As the Bull Arm Fabrication Site lays inactive, Nalcor is looking for a new party to lease the site. The former home of the Hebron Project was shut down in May and has been inactive ever since.
The site, currently leased by ExxonMobil Canada, will return to Nalcor on January 1st, 2018. With the unemployment rate just a hair below 15 percent, due partially to the mass layoffs at Bull Arm, Nalcor is looking for a way to get the fabrication site back up and running. Their initial requests called for formal Expressions of Interest from potential suitors. They have since moved on to the next step, which is to request proposals from those interested parties. The deadline for proposals is November 27.
Situated ideally along international shipping routes, Bull Arm is the largest industrial fabrication site in Atlantic Canada. Should Nalcor fail to find a new lessee, it would be terrible for Newfoundland’s already stagnant economy. As The Muse reported earlier this year, Newfoundland has seen its unemployment rate skyrocket in relation to the rest of the country. Now at double the national average, job creation is more important than ever.
One question remains unanswered, as Nalcor listens to pitches from a number of groups: What exactly do they intend to do between now and January 1? Now into November, it would be unreasonable to expect any group to get a project up and running in less than two months. That leaves (if all goes well and a group has their pitch accepted), spring as a probable launch date.
A launch date for what, exactly? No one can say at this stage what a new project would look like in Bull Arm. As was mentioned, the site is located ideally for just about any group that will have shipping needs. The Muse reached out to Nalcor for comment but has not heard back at this time. Speculation has been scarce in terms of what a new tenant would look like. It could be another project related to oil and gas, but there are few details at this time.