Monday, November 23, 2015

Ridley Terminals sale prospects remain stalled, with no indication from Federal Government as to path ahead

The plan to sell RTI appears stalled
at the moment as the new Federal
Government reviews its options
In our short overview of the Federal election results in October, we noted how the arrival of a change of government in Ottawa may impact on a number of issues of interest in the Northwest.

Already we have seen the Federal Government put in motion plans to have a moratorium on oil tanker traffic put in place in the waters of the North Coast and Haida Gwaii.

That declaration was made part of the Mandate letter of November 13th for the new Fisheries and Oceans Minister Hunter Tootoo, who along with the Ministers of Transport, Natural Resources an Environment and  Climate Change have all been tasked to move forward on that initiative.

As well, with events continuing to evolve from developments related to the closure of  canning operations at the Canadian Fish plant in Prince Rupert, Mr. Tootoo is finding pressure from the union UFAWU-Unifor to step in and revoke the licences of the Jim Pattison Group boats that fish in North Coast waters.

Another item we noted in our post election review was the theme of Ridley Terminals, the large North Coast employer which operates the coal terminal at Ridley Island.

At the time we outlined how the new focus on the environment by the Federal government may have an impact not only on the future shipment levels through the terminal, but also in how the Liberal government may approach the current listing of the site as one that is For Sale.

So far, there has been no indication from any of the new Ministers that may offer up hints as to what the future may be for RTI, nor is there any indication as to how hard the Government will work to sell off the North Coast terminal.

That topic received a fairly thorough review over the weekend in the Globe and Mail, as Globe reporter Brent Jang explored the many aspects of a new government focus which could be applied to their North Coast industrial holding.

In the article, Mr. Jang notes the current low levels for coal prices and the current levels of shipments out of Ridley, with production out coal out of Northeast British Columbia now virtually at a standstill.

He also observes how some industry analysts are suggesting that the prospects of selling the terminal at the moment do not appear promising, owing to current economic state of the resource sector.

What the Federal Government may have in mind for the terminal also seems to remain a bit of a mystery, even to those making decisions at Ridley Terminals, with an official from RTI quoted in the article as stating that the company itself is waiting to learn more about the plan ahead.

You can review the full article from the Globe here.

For more on items of note related to Ridley Terminals see our archive page here.

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