Kitsault is a modern ghost town, one that was abandoned some 30 years ago by over 1,200 mine workers and their families. But the British Columbia town still stands just as its inhabitants left it — leaving an Indo-Canadian businessman with an intriguing idea: Why not bring it back to life?
Krishnan Suthanthiran, who made his fortune selling medical supplies throughout North America, wants to make the town of Kitsault into a major hub in the province's growing liquid natural gas infrastructure. To that end, he purchased the town in 2004 for $5 million in cash. At the time, he was hoping to turn it into a resort destination.
Back in the early 1980s, U.S. mining conglomorate Phelps Dodge built about 100 detached homes, apartment buildings, and all the amenities required to support a community — including a recreation center, a curling rink, a movie theatre, a fully equipped hospital, a shopping mall, and a swimming pool. For a time, it was home to some 1,200 individuals.
The hospital. It still contains beds — and even saline solution i.v. bags. Image via.
But just 18 months later, in 1983, the commodities market crashed and the mine was closed. Phelps Dodge bought back the houses from the workers and ordered everyone to leave.
But now Suthanthiran wants to bring it back. The CBC reports:
In January of this year, however, Suthanthiran formed Kitsault Energy and began pitching the empty town as an ideal location to build a liquid natural gas plant and pipeline terminal to ship B.C.'s vast natural gas resources to markets in Asia.
Suthanthiran says it has cost him about $2 million just to keep the town from crumbling, and liquid natural gas may be the only way to keep paying the bills.
The project will require up to $30 billion to get off the ground, so he's currently trying to gather international investors.
"I think with Kitsault Energy, the pipeline will be shorter. The housing infrastructure is there," he says.
"So, I think this will be the thing that brings Kitsault back to life."
The infrastructure has been built and is ready to go — including access to electricity. Image via.
Top image CBC.