A groundbreaking at Port of Prince Rupert marked the start of construction of the port’s $90-million Road, Rail and Utility Corridor project, which will support billions of dollars in new terminal developments and boost Canada’s trade capacity and exports to fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets. The Road, Rail and Utility Corridor will be a catalyst for significant terminal developments being advanced through private sector investment on the Ridley Island Industrial Site at the port of Prince Rupert. The project includes construction of five parallel rail tracks, a two-lane roadway, and a port-owned power distribution system along an eight-kilometre corridor. This will provide shared-use infrastructure for proposed potash, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other terminals on the island. The capital costs of the terminal developments are currently estimated in the billions of dollars. The first phase of the project will be completed in December 2014.
“This project will connect Canada’s proven capacity for resource production to growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region and is the largest in Prince Rupert since construction of the Fairview Container Terminal,” said Bud Smith, Chairman of the Board of Prince Rupert Port Authority. The Port Authority’s Gateway 20/20 Plan foresees reaching an annual throughput capacity of 100 million tonnes of cargo as proposed terminal developments are completed. The $90 million utility corridor is being funded jointly by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, who have each contributed $15 million, and CN and the Port Authority, who have each committed $30 million. CN’s investment in the Road, Rail and Utility Corridor will strategically add export capacity and help strengthen the infrastructure to get Canadian goods to market,” said CN General Manager Doug Ryhorchuk. According to the Port, among other projects proposed for Ridley Island, an anticipated potash export terminal, being advanced by Saskatchewan potash marketing and logistics company Canpotex, will have the capacity to provide an annual throughput of 13 million tonnes per year. The BG Group has also engaged Prince Rupert Port Authority to consider a 200-acre section of land on Ridley Island for construction of an LNG terminal that could be used to load Western Canadian gas onto ships bound for consumers in Japan, South Korea, and China. “Port of Prince Rupert continues to draw the attention of investors seeking to gain capacity for the movement of cargo from all sectors of Canada’s resource economy,” said Don Krusel, President and CEO of Prince Rupert Port Authority. “They are drawn by Prince Rupert’s vision for growth and our proven record as an innovative and integrated trade gateway that moves goods safely, responsibly and sustainably.” Construction of the Road, Rail, and Utility Corridor will employ up to 90 workers during its two-year construction phase. The project’s contractor is Prince Rupert Constructors, a joint venture between Coast Tsimshian Enterprises (a local First Nations firm), JJM Construction Ltd., and Emil Anderson Construction Inc. The Ridley Island inustrial site is located some 8.5 kilometres from downtown Prince Rupert, and is under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority.