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Deal to buy shipyard could be done within next month, Marystown mayor says

St. John's businessman Paul Antle, owner of Newdock, has signed an agreement in principle with Peter Kiewit and Sons to purchase the old shipyard portion of its operations in Marystown. - Southern Gazette file photo
The Town of Marystown is progressing in its efforts to buy the Marystown Shipyard from Peter Kiewit. - Southern Gazette file photo

Town looking to lease facility to company planning to operate aquaculture service hub

MARYSTOWN, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

Marystown Town Council is “inching” towards finalizing an agreement to buy the Marystown Shipyard from Peter Kiewit, Mayor Sam Synard told The Southern Gazette Sept. 19.

“It’s a slow process to buy an industrial footprint like that, of course, and we’re really hoping within the next month to be able to close the deal on the shipyard,” Synard said.

A council delegation met with officials from the provincial government in St. John’s on Sept. 11 to discuss the matter. Synard, who indicated more meetings are forthcoming, said two main topics were addressed.

“We need ministerial approval (from the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment) to purchase assets, so we’ve got that process started,” he said.

“We need indemnification from the province about the environmental issues at the shipyard, and that process has started, as well. And those are the two big things. We need the environmental indemnification. That’s automatic. Nobody is going to buy the shipyard without that being in place.”

The town has been in negotiations with Peter Kiewit to buy the shipyard assets and land for approximately four months.

Synard told The Southern Gazette on Aug. 9 a template agreement is in place.

Contingent on the town purchasing the shipyard, council has also been in talks with Marbase Marystown Inc. to lease the property long-term. The company is looking to turn the facility into a service hub for the aquaculture industry.

The development would largely depend on whether Grieg NL received environmental approval from the provincial government to move forward with its Placentia Bay aquaculture project, Synard told The Southern Gazette in August.

The province released the project from further environmental assessment, subject to a number of conditions, on Sept. 7.

paul.herridge@southerngazette.ca

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