Construction begins on $90M road, rail and utility corridor at Port of Prince Rupert
By Staff ReportConstruction Infrastructure
A groundbreaking at the Port of Prince Rupert March 8 marked the start of construction of the port’s $90-million road, rail and utility corridor project, which will support billions in new terminal developments and boost Canada’s trade capacity and exports to fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets.
The 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.
“The Government of Canada is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity and this project is one of many under our Asia-Pacific Gateway initiative that delivers on this goal,” said Wai Young, member of parliament for Vancouver South and co-chair of the Canada-China Legislative Association, on behalf of the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. Young participated in the official construction launch, in which an excavator roared into action while representatives of the construction team lifted shovelfuls of sod. “The development potential of Ridley Island is good news not only for the community of Prince Rupert but for all Canadians as we continue to open new markets to increase our exports to fast-growing Asian markets.”
“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 the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We are integrating the new terminals into the world-class service and security architecture at the Port of Prince Rupert. Through our increasingly diversified port complex, the Canadian resource sector will be linked to a world of opportunity.”
The Port Authority’s Gateway 20/20 Plan foresees reaching an annual throughput capacity of 100m 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. CN and the Port Authority, have each committed $30 million.
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 the 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.
“The 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 the 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.”