The County of Grande Prairie and Nauticol Energy Ltd have formally entered into an agreement to purchase the land to build the energy company’s proposed $2 billion methanol plant.

The facility, which would produce 3 million metric tonnes of methanol a year from 300 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, will be built on property formerly owned by International Paper, near the Weyerhauser pulp mill south of the city.

Reeve Leanne Beaupre says while Nauticol continues work on getting its regulatory licenses in place, the county is preparing for an influx of jobs once construction begins.

“As far as the impact it will have on the County of Grande Prairie is huge. There will be 1,000 jobs all over the province, and 1,000 local jobs here on site. After the project is up and operation, I think it is close to 400 jobs required on site.”

Beaupre says the collective effort from both sides of the negotiating table made the eventual deal a smooth one.

“We’ve spent a fair amount of time with Wayne [Drysdale], but also with the President, Mark Tonner, who has been very hands-on through the whole process.”

Drysdale, the former MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti, accepted the position of Senior Vice President with Nauticol Energy after announcing his retirement from provincial politics.

No timeline has been set as to when construction will start.