Northwest B.C. Industrial Park — A Gateway to North America and Asia
Skeena Industrial Development Park connects Canada, China, and the North-Central U.S.
Today SIDP covers about 2,400 acres, with Burnaby, B.C.-based Taisheng International Investment Services Inc. owning about 1,200 acres on behalf of the Qinhuangdao Economic and Technological Development Zone (QETDZ). Other key property stakeholders are Kitselas First Nation and Global Dewatering, which specializes in groundwater removal.
Chinese investors have expressed interest in British Columbia’s raw forestry materials, seafood products, and abundant oil and gas. “China’s economy and Canada’s economy complement each other,” says Taisheng’s Managing Director Richard Zhang. “The transportation advantage is quite obvious — northwest BC is a gateway between Canada and Asian countries, especially China.”
“We are on the fastest trade route between Asia and North American markets, by over 24 hours dock to delivery point,” adds Taisheng realtor Rick McDaniel. “We are also strategically located to access those North American markets directly from the town of Terrace along those routes, with a backhaul advantage for finished goods going back overseas to Asia.”
Chinese investors have expressed interest in British Columbia’s raw forestry materials, seafood products, and abundant oil and gas. Connections by Land and Sea
The Port of Prince Rupert, which is located about 150 km from SIDP via CN rail and uncongested highways, offers a large, deepwater, ice-free harbor and North America's closest west coast port to Asia. Easy access to two other major ports is another a major selling point. “We also have access to affordable power in the form of both hydroelectric and liquified natural gas (LNG) at high capacities, which gives us another competitive advantage over other locations,” says McDaniel.
SIDP is open to all enterprises, not just China-based companies. A number of manufacturing businesses have approached SIDP about setting up operations there, including food, wood products, aluminum, and containerized LNG.
“This is a Canadian project that will bring growth to northwest BC and anyone who wants to prosper together in this opportunity is welcome,” says Zhang.
Top Speed Energy, the first tenant, is building a $60 million–$80 million LNG container site. The company plans to ship containers of LNG to remote towns in BC that currently operate on diesel, as well as delivering LNG to regions in China that rely heavily on coal and do not yet have natural gas infrastructure in place.
A second contract for 25 acres is nearing completion. Eager to find new sources of revenue, the nearby town of Terrace is looking forward to supporting any companies that move into SIDP, where eventually the town itself can perhaps manufacture products for Asian markets.
“The development of the SIDP is a priority project for Terrace as we seek to diversify our economy, generate new revenue sources, and create an even more prosperous community,” says Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc.
The Port of Prince Rupert offers a large, deepwater, ice-free harbor and North America's closest west coast port to Asia. “Our location provides business with access to the entire region,” adds Danielle Myles, the town’s economic development manager. We have strong First Nations partnerships, a skilled workforce, and an abundance of land that is affordable to develop.”
Status of Development
QETDZ is working with a budget of more than $100 million to prepare infrastructure for the site. The water system, designed by Allnorth Consultants, just passed the planning stage and is projected to be operational within a year. Up to 34 lots are available to lease on QETDZ’s portion of the property, with each facility having the potential of creating 50–100 new jobs or more. When the park is fully built out and operational, it will have created about 900 construction jobs and thousands of full-time operational jobs in the region.
“I look forward to 2020 being the year that the Skeena Industrial Park breaks out and becomes known on the world stage, creating the opportunity for Terrace to become a modern manufacturing hub,” McDaniel concludes.
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