Trinity Bay North Deputy Mayor Shelly
Blackmore, who chairs the local economic development committee, told TC Media
the visit was very encouraging.
“We look and we see opportunity,” said
Blackmore. “We have hope.
“To have someone come in from outside the
country and see the potential — it’s encouraging for us.”
MHA King added, “It got quite a bit of
dialogue going. It showed their interest — their seriousness to come to
Newfoundland and Labrador to invest and live.”
According to King, the investors aim to set
up a seal-processing operation at the plant.
He told TC Media the main focus for the
potential seal processing plant would be the seal oil, but all secondary
processing would take place at the plant as well — using the entire seal.
King says if this plant is established in
Port Union, they are already looking at utilizing local work force — drawing on
some of the experience in the area from the now-closed NuTan Furs seal plant in
this operation you’re going to have a myriad of skill levels. It goes from
production, to pharmaceuticals, to research and development. So it’s a great
mix of jobs across the board,” King said of the potential for the former OCI
Blackmore says an industry that suits the
local workforce is a goal the economic development committee has been working
“With the skills and experience (the
workforce has) in the seal industry, we really want to build upon that,” said
As for the current state of the facility, the
town is looking at various funding sources to begin renovations and get closer
to operation as soon as possible. King says they’re working Municipal Affairs
to finalize the transfer of ownership to the town.
town is working very hard to get things rolling; like myself, they want to see
things rolling as quickly as they can because this is a great facility. The
building is in great shape,” said King.
“I use the expression, it’s an empty canvas
right now. Everything is out of there and, once renovations can take place, you
can do what you like with it.”