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Prince Rupert port expansion updates released

Fairview Terminal will increase to 1.6 million TEUs by summer and 1.8 million by 2024
Fairview Container Terminal on Jan. 18, with cargo railcars in the foreground and cranes in the background, was highlighted in a PRPA cargo volumes report with expansion and an eighth quay crane in 2021. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Several updates have been announced by the Prince Rupert Port Authority on Feb. 2, regarding critical infrastructure projects that the organization said will make Canada’s West Coast more resilient against future supply chain challenges.

“Disruptions and congestion experienced during the past year in southern British Columbia and other west coast supply chains have accentuated the need for additional capacity in Prince Rupert,” PRPA authority said in a press release.

“In addition to strengthening the economy of northern British Columbia, the projects will significantly increase Canada’s west coast container terminal capacity to support the growth and resilience of Canada’s supply chains and substantially scale up capacity for Canadian agricultural and forest product export sectors, improving their competitiveness,” the statement reads.

A planned expansion this coming summer will increase Fairview Container Terminal to 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and to 1.8 TEUS by 2024.

The first stage of the expansion is almost 50 per cent complete the PRPA stated and will be completed by July. The growth of the terminal is in response to the increased container traffic during the past five years coming through Prince Rupert.

“In addition to the hundreds of construction jobs created by the expansion, it will have a significant permanent economic impact on Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities, and the surrounding region,” the PRPA stated. “The Phase 2B expansion will ultimately result in 300 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) positions at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal.”

Maksim Mihic, CEO and general manager of DP World (Canada) said the Fairview Terminal already offers the fastest connection from Asia to North America.

“This expansion of the Prince Rupert Gateway will provide the infrastructure necessary to meet increasing trade growth forecasts,” he said. “The Fairview Phase 2B expansion sets Prince Rupert firmly on the path to becoming a leading strategic Canadian logistics hub, custom-built for high-volume intermodal traffic.”

The Fairview-Ridley Connector Road will be completed this spring and will reroute container trucks from local transloading and customs facilities directly to Fairview Container Terminal. The road will improve existing container terminal truck and rail operations to ease traffic congestion, remove wear on provincial and municipal road infrastructure, lower costs and reduce greenhouse gas and local air emissions. Construction work has been contracted to the Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractors Alliance, a local First nations joint venture which ensures local construction employment opportunities in the region.

Advanced plans for a state-of-the-art export logistics facility on Ridley Island are in the making with a PRPA partnership between DP World and Ray-Mont Logistics, increasing transloading and warehousing capacities to containerize key commodities such as grains, resins, pulp and lumber.

“The rail-serviced logistics centre will offer a unique combination of scale, speed and terminal integration that will become the new standard for export transload services on the west coast,” PRPA stated.

Together, Metlakatla Development Corporation and PRPA are developing an import logistics facility on 34 acres near Fairview. The South Kaien Import Logistics Facility, is a critical component of planned future growth and will be integrated into the logistics hub of the Prince Rupert Gateway.

“The PRPA has worked with DP World and our many other partners to grow Prince Rupert into one of North America’s preferred maritime gateways and add more Canadian trade capacity to the west coast,” Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of PRPA said. “In addition to advancing these critical projects right now, we’ll soon be sharing even larger plans that build on the advantages of northern B.C. to make Canada’s future supply chains more competitive and resilient.”

 K-J Millar | Journalist 
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