WCMR tested out their boat in the waters at Clutesi Haven Marina on Friday, July 13. PHOTO COURTESY MIKE CARTER

WCMR tested out their boat in the waters at Clutesi Haven Marina on Friday, July 13. PHOTO COURTESY MIKE CARTER

Lease agreement signed for Port Alberni oil spill response base

25-year lease agreement is part of a larger expansion plan

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) is moving forward with their on-water oil spill response base in Port Alberni by signing a lease agreement for Port Alberni Harbour.

WCMRC and the Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) signed a 25-year lease agreement this week for 6.225 acres of land and waterlot areas all fronting Port Alberni Harbour.

The Port Alberni response base, which is part of a larger $150 million expansion plan, will work with vessels forward-stationed in Ucluelet to respond to spills on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Construction of the response base in Port Alberni is expected to cost $8 million. When complete, it will be home to 20 full-time response personnel.

“We are very excited to be moving ahead with the response base in Port Alberni,” said WCMRC president Kevin Gardner in a release. “We have a great partnership with the port. The base will be key to improved response for the west coast of Vancouver Island.”

READ: Work begins on Alberni spill response base

READ: Vancouver Island oil spill response stations back on track

PAPA president and CEO Zoran Knezevic echoed Gardner’s sentiments, adding that PAPA is pleased with a partnership that has already seen improvements to Water Street Wharf. “This will enhance the public’s enjoyment of the waterfront,” said Knezevic. “Very importantly, this development creates very good jobs in our community and supports our continuing work to build the marine services cluster in Port Alberni.”