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Memorial University to collaborate with Great Northern Port Inc. on Crémaillère Harbour economic study

Dan Villeneuve, CEO and president of Great Northern Port Inc.
Dan Villeneuve, CEO and president of Great Northern Port Inc. - SaltWire File Photo

Company believes project has potential to invigorate Northern Peninsula commercially

ST. ANTHONY, N.L. —

Great Northern Port Inc. and Memorial University have reached an agreement to research the potential economic impact of a new commercial port facility at Crémaillère Harbour, four kilometres south of St. Anthony.

The research project was announced by Great Northern Port in a press release sent to The Northern Pen on March 21.

According to the release, the port would be the largest commercial port serving arctic shipping in all of North America and the most northern port on the eastern seaboard of North America.

Great Northern Port Inc. was formed in 2016 to develop plans and generate investment in the Crémaillère Harbour project.

The company believes the project has the potential to invigorate the Great Northern Peninsula commercially.

It will be working with Dr. Wade Locke, the head of the department of economics at Memorial University, as the principal researcher for the project.

“Dr. Locke’s previous research has had a major impact on public policy, particularly on the public finance of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the development of its oil and gas resources,” the press release stated. “Dr. Locke’s seminal economic research on the Hibernia project established him as an expert in the economics of the Province’s natural resources and he is considered the best possible researcher to conduct this study.”

Dan Villeneuve, president and CEO of Great Northern Port, wrote that he looked forward to working with Locke on such an important and historical study.

“I am proud and look forward to a bright future with several new opportunities that secure and provide long-term employment and business opportunities in the Great Northern Peninsula,” he continued.

The study will also entail collaboration with the Centre for Health Informatics and Analytics (CHIA) and IBM Canada.

“CHIA has been operating since 2015 and is used for research into patient outcomes that offers insight into how medical services may be improved through the use of high-performance computing systems,” the release explained. “CHIA researchers have access to one of Atlantic Canada’s fastest computing environments. These systems will now be leveraged to support this new project with Memorial’s Department of Economics. The investment in CHIA and this project provides benefits to the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) program as governed by Industry, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).”

Prior to commencing this economic impact study, the company has conducted an extensive site selection program and has submitted an environmental preview report (EPR) in cooperation with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the surrounding municipalities.

A decision has not yet been reached on the EPR as the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment has required more information from the company.

Just the facts

Facts about the Crémaillère Harbour project (per Great Northern Port Inc.)

• Crémaillère Harbour is slightly larger than St. John’s Harbour with a marine basin that is approximately 2,400m x 1,100m.

• Crémaillère Harbour is deep with a 41m depth entrance channel and an 18.2 depth at the turning basin.

• Great Northern Port shipping access would be available all year directly from the Atlantic Ocean, as the site is sheltered naturally from ice ingress.

• Great Northern Port’s plan is to make use of innovative new Canadian port manufactured modules that are capable of being reconfigured, moved and automatically raised or lowered based on changing port requirements.

Five pillars

Following are the five pillars of integrated business development for the Industrial Subdivision and Marine Port Development at Crémaillère Harbour (per Great Northern Port Inc.):

• Industrial Cluster: Manufacturing, port services, specialized ship services.

• Trans-shipment Support: Raw material handling, storage, shipping and logistics services for northern operations.

• Arctic Marine and Air Operations HUB: Search and rescue, ice breaking, coast guard and military.

• Sustainability Centre: Northern oil spill and ice research, sustainable fisheries and added value harvesting operations

• Small Business Incubation Services: Small and medium size business development within the Great Northern Port port and communities through the Great Northern Peninsula area.

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