Watson Island Mill Site Decommissioning 80 Per Cent Complete

The decommissioning of the old Skeena Cellulose pulp mill on Watson Island is about 80 per cent complete, according to a video released by the city of Prince Rupert.

The city became the unwilling recipient of the property in 2009, following a tax sale from the previous owner -- Sun Wave Forest Products -- and it contracted NRI Global to begin dismantling the mill and safely removing chemicals and other materials in 2015.

In the video posted on YouTube, mayor Lee Brain said the project is proceeding well. 

"We're pleased to say today that we're moving forward on this island; as you can see behind me, 80 per cent of the old pulp mill site is now decommissioned, 95 per cent of everything that is on this island is going to be recycled, including the chemicals -- the chemicals themselves are now off-site and are being re-used for other uses -- we're opening the door for new opportunities," he says in the video, adding "although we've had past challenges with this island, we're looking forward to a new day to finally say goodbye to our past and to bring in hope for a better future for everybody in Prince Rupert."

The decommissioning project should be complete by this fall.

The city says it plans to maintain Watson Island as an industrial site.