Prince Rupert Port Authority President and CEO Don Krusel, addressing the recent BC Chamber Transportation Summit 2012 conference, described the Port’s current operations as safe, responsible and sustainable – and laying out a vision for the port’s vital role in expanding Canadian trade.

The summit was attended by industry leaders, ­stakeholders and government re­­pres­­entatives to discuss B.C.’s gateway strategy and future transportation development. One of the key messages of Krusel’s speech was that as Prince Rupert facilitates more trade, more jobs are created.

“Huge private sector investments are planned and well underway in Western Canada’s natural resource sectors. These investments, and the thousands of new jobs associated with them, are depending on the availability of new West Coast export capacity,” said Krusel. “To this end, the key objective of Port of Prince Rupert is to facilitate this trade and unlock the economic opportunities it affords.”

Krusel outlined plans for the Port’s Road Rail Utility Corridor, which will provide shared-use infrastructure for future terminal developments on Ridley Island. The corridor will be completed through a public-private infrastructure partnership that involves $15 million from each of the provincial and federal governments, $30 million from CN and $30 million from the Port Authority.

“Integrated with this development, Phase 2 expansion of Fairview Container Terminal is expected to bring an additional 500,000 TEUs of container capacity online before 2015,” said Krusel. “Our 20/20 Gateway Development Plan gives us the tools we need to line up the right infrastructure, terminals and partners required to find the best solution for Canadian industry seeking access to Asian and world markets.”

Krusel was quick to point out that, while port activities benefit communities from an economic perspective, operations also impact them through increased traffic and industrial activity.

“We consider the ongoing support of local communities for the Port’s development as one of our most important strategic assets,” said Krusel. “We take pride in our operations and the communities in which we live, and we’re very active in our engagement and investment in those communities. The Port of Prince Rupert’s commitment to marine safety, environmental stewardship and community partnerships will ensure we can deliver on our vision, and do it in a sustainable manner that allows us to turn our potential into reality”