December 3, 2014
For immediate release
Souris Harbour Authority to purchase and repurpose former Ocean Choice plant
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“Since Ocean Choice Inc. ceased operation in Souris, the province has been interested in seeing the facility once again active and creating employment. Souris Harbour Authority already operates cold storage in the community and this new property will provide them with needed extra storage space,” said Minister Roach. “This facility is a potentially great economic resource and will employ Islanders and create economic activity in Eastern Kings County.”
The primary interest of the Souris Harbour Authority Inc. (SHAI) is to facilitate the much needed expansion of their Eastern Cold Storage business, as bait freezing for fishers and industry cold storage demands have grown dramatically.
SHAI chairman Denis Thibodeau says, “The Harbour Authority is pleased that it is playing a key role in revitalizing and repurposing this facility. Souris Harbour Industries will be a multi-tenant facility that brings new business to the Souris Food Park.”
Finance PEI is supporting Souris Harbour Authority Inc.’s purchase with a loan of $2 million. The Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, through the Island Community Fund, has also supported the Souris Harbour Authority Inc. with a $150,000 grant for the development of their cold storage space.
“My department is pleased to work with the Souris Harbour Authority Inc. to renovate the cold storage component of the existing facility, and I congratulate them for sponsoring yet another project that will help create jobs in the Souris area and support our Island fishery,” said Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Ron MacKinley.
SHAI is a not-for-profit, community-based corporation established to own, operate and promote the development of the Port of Souris. Their freezer operations support fisheries and agriculture, providing storage for such products as blueberries, seafood and lobster products, and bait. SHAI’s current freezer operations are fully subscribed, and this purchase represents an opportunity for them to expand operations immediately. The redevelopment will double Souris Harbour’s freezer operations.
The remaining 23,000 square feet of space will be used by SHAI to prospect companies to Souris. The redeveloped building will also include research space for aquaculture and biotechnology firms interested in making use of Souris’s advantages as a major sea port for Eastern Prince Edward Island.
SHAI expects the facility to be fully occupied by summer, 2015.