The legal battle between the City of Prince Rupert and Sun Wave Forest Products over Watson Island ownership is over.

The legal battle between the City of Prince Rupert and Sun Wave Forest Products over Watson Island ownership is over.

City of Prince Rupert and Sun Wave Forest Products reach out-of-court settlement

The City of Prince Rupert and Sun Wave Forest Products have reached an out-of-court settlement.

The City of Prince Rupert and Sun Wave Forest Products have reached an out-of-court settlement, putting an end to a lengthy court battle and any future claims on the City of Prince Rupert.

Under the terms of the settlement, the city will not pay Sun Wave any money and will work to decommission the mill over the next 24 to 30 months. The settlement also gives the City of Prince Rupert clear title to the former pulp mill site, allowing it to work toward the sale of the site to the Watson Island Development Corporation (WatCo).

“This is excellent news. The private sector can now move on with repurposing Watson Island resulting in numerous jobs, while the mill is decommissioned. Congratulations are in order for our new city manager, Robert Long, who has taken on this complicated file and found a workable solution that is good for Prince Rupert,” said Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem.

WatCo intends to repurpose the mill as a private multi modal port using the land and docking facilities to service the coming industrial activity in the Prince Rupert region. An overall environmental remediation plan will be sought from the Province of British Columbia and the site will be remediated as the mill site is decommissioned. Elton Tanner, chief operating officer for WatCo, noted there is still much to be done before the mill is sold.

“It is still a long way from a done deal,” he said.

The city plans to sell the equipment and scrap metal on the site, and it is anticipated there will be a lot of interest from the private sector to decommission the mill.