A new multi-million dollar road, rail and utility corridor (RRUC) project will expand the Port of Prince Rupert’s terminal capacity to meet Asia’s demand for Western Canada’s natural resources. It is the largest project in the city since the Fairview Container Terminal was completed.
Construction is currently underway on the $90-million transportation infrastructure project at the Ridley Island industrial site. The RRUC project is the first phase of a broader $300-million multi-phase port expansion underway at Prince Rupert. Completion of the corridor is expected in December 2014.
The RRUC project consists of an eight kilometre corridor of five parallel rail tracks: three inbound and two outbound tracks for coal, potash and other bulk terminal developments; two tracks that form a loop around the main part of Ridley Island; and one track that extends off the rail loop towards Ridley Terminals.
The full build out will see a 7,818-metre rail loop corridor, with capacity for 14 inbound and 11 outbound tracks.
The project also includes a two-lane roadway (with rail overpass and underpass), a new 69 kilovolt (kV) power line (about 3.4 kilometres) and water utility connections to support bulk terminal development, as well as road improvements along the new rail corridor.
The completion of this long awaited project will act as a catalyst for further developments at the Ridley Island industrial park.
“The road, rail and utility corridor will anchor bulk, container and logistics terminal developments that will build jobs and opportunities along our North American trade routes, reaching clear across the Pacific to rapidly growing Asian markets and producers,” says Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
The Port Authority’s Gateway 20/20 Plan foresees reaching an annual throughput capacity of 100-metre tonnes of cargo as proposed terminal developments are completed.
Funding for the project was provided jointly by the federal and provincial governments, who have each contributed $15 million, and CN and the Port Authority, who have each committed $30 million.
“This project will connect Canada’s proven capacity for resource production to growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region,” says 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.”
According to the Port Authority, an anticipated potash export terminal (being advanced by Saskatchewan potash marketing and logistics company, Canpotex) is among other projects proposed for Ridley Island. It 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,” says Krusel. “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.”
The investment will create more than 570 direct construction jobs over the life of the project and will further provide up to 4,000 operational jobs after all construction is complete.
One of the project’s contractors 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 other is Coast Industrial Construction, a partnership between Icon Construction and the Gitxaala Nation (a First Nations government located in Kitkatla).
The Port of Prince Rupert is the fastest growing container terminal in North America.