Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Port CEO Don Krusel mixes caution with optimism when it comes to the Port's Vision for future development

Prince Rupert Port Authority President
and CEO Don Krusel recently
provided an extensive overview on the
future for the Port to the Prince Rupert
and District Chamber of Commerce
The Prince Rupert Port Authority has provided a bit of a glimpse into how they are viewing the current status of the global trade system as it involves Prince Rupert, providing a video link yesterday to a recent public presentation from Port President and CEO Don Krusel.

In the thirty three minute presentation from last months Chamber of Commerce get together, Mr. Krusel offered up a fairly expansive overview of the various elements that contribute to the Port's presence on the North Coast.

It makes for a wide ranging presentation that covers much when it comes to Port facilities on the North coast, as well as the impact that those facilities have on the economy, job creation and municipal revenues streams for the region.

The Port President and CEO opens up his presentation focusing on the nature of Trade and how it impacts across Northern British Columbia, highlighting the tonnage numbers recorded by the Port, as well as the impact that the Port has in Prince Rupert as far as income generation and reinvestment in the community.

He outlined how the Port was reinvesting some of their money both in capital projects related to Port development and well as directly into the community through their Community Investment Fund.

As for employment, Krusel noted that the numbers of direct jobs created have doubled over the last five years, providing good wages to over 3,000 employees, allowing them to continue to help build the North Coast economy.

By the numbers he outlined how 12 1/2 percent of the population in the Prince Rupert area, or one in eight people employed on the North Coast are working as part of the Port economy, one of the highest ratios that can be found from any port city along the west coast.

The Port CEO also offered up an indication as to the importance of the Port to local municipalities, showing figures that noted that the Port provided some 6.1 million dollars in revenue to the City of Prince Rupert and close to one million dollars for Port Edward in the 2014 fiscal year.

Krusel further observed that for the City of Prince Rupert those numbers translated into the receipt of 32 percent of Tax Revenues generated by the Port in 2014, figures that are significantly higher than many other communities in the province.

The Port outlined the current impact
that its financial return to the
City of Prince Rupert provides
The Port noted that in 2014 the
City of Prince Rupert benefited by
just over 6 million dollars in revenue
from Port facilities 

When it came to the review of Port facilities he started with the success of Fairview Terminal which continues to increase its volumes through the Gateway facility, with the prospect of those number increasing with new shipping lines now calling on Prince Rupert.

He also noted the pace of the expansion of the Phase Two project which should be operational by 2017 and will provide added capacity for the Fairview facility.

He also highlighted the success of Prince Rupert Grain, which while down 8 percent this year, is still a significant amount of through put from the record year of the year before, with 2015 expected to be the second best year for the Terminal.

The Newest facility on the waterfront the Westview Wood Pellet Terminal also is finding its place in the world shipping market, with Krusel observing that while there are still some areas that need attention towards as they look to reduce the impact on the neighbourhood that its located in, he did however express confidence that the Terminal would quickly address those lingering issue.

A new facility located on Ridley
Island is providing a landing spot
for industrial cargo destined for areas
all over Northern BC and Alberta
A relatively new option on Ridley Island was also expanded on for the Chamber audience, with the Ridley Island Project Cargo Facility now up and running and the Port CEO calling it a milestone project.  The ten million dollar facility began operations in 2015 and now is ready to receive shipments of large project cargo modules to construction sites across British Columbia and Alberta.

That facility is one which makes Prince Rupert the arrival and staging site at the head of the transportation corridor across the region, delivering many of the materials and equipment for the growing list of major projects that have been identified in recent years as under consideration for the Northwest and further inland.

When it comes to the Cruise industry, Krusel offered up that the numbers of passengers may not at the moment be large, but the participation level of those that have disembarked in Prince Rupert have taken advantage of many of the local shore excursion options available in the community, with that portion of the industry now up by 18 per cent.

Mr. Krusel did outline some of the challenges facing the coal industry and how those have had a major impact on the operations at the Ridley Coal Terminal facility.

Another challenge and concern that the CEO noted was how the Port was keeping an eye on the status of the Chinese economy, which continues to head into a slowdown and how the factors of the global economy could impact on the Port of Prince Rupert's competitive advantage.

Mr. Krusel outlined that unlike any other Port in North America, the container traffic that runs through Prince Rupert is 100 per cent discretional in nature, which is why the Port is seeking ways to continue to hold that competitive advantage.

Shifting time lines and windows
of Opportunity provide a number
of challenges for Port development
He also highlighted how world Trade advantages have very quickly changing Windows of Opportunity and how the Port has to keep those conditions in mind as they seek to develop their development plans and put in motion the capital projects to capitalize on those industrial opportunities.

He then provided a look into the future providing an overview of the Port's 2020 Long Term Development plan, highlighting the foundation of that expansion process with the Road, Rail and Utility corridor which was recently opened.

With that infrastructure in place, the plan will see diversification provided to the Port facilities with terminal options for LNG, Coal, Potash, Containers and the bulk commodities making up relatively equal segments of commodity shipments that will pass through Port facilities.

Diversification is a key element
of the Port of Prince Rupert's Gateway
vision for 2024

Municipal revenues could grow 
significantly should the Port's 
Gateway Strategy reach its
full potential

The return to the community from that diversification could be impressive for the City of Prince Rupert and District of Port Edward, with the Port CEO noting that if fully developed to the Port's hopes, the revenues to local communities could grow to 60 million dollars a year by 2024.

With that vast expansion of potential Port throughput on the horizon, part of the long term planning is an enhanced approach to Marine Safety and Security. With the prospect of an accelerated amount of vessels arriving on the North Coast, the Port is developing a Marine Safety and Security plan to address the many issues that would arrive with added traffic to the region.

The Port is also continuing to keep a dedicated focus towards the environment and marine life found around the region and at proposed development sites.

To wrap up his presentation Mr. Krusel provided some background notes related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG Proposal, noting that the Port is focused on protecting the environment of the region and any impact that development will have on it.  He acknowledged not only the importance of the Flora Bank area, but of all environmental areas when it comes to moving forward with projects.

He also pointed out that the project has not been approved as of yet and that Pacific NorthWest has only been investigating the potential of developing a facility, following a very rigorous environmental assessment program, in consultation with a number of agencies and First Nations, responding to any issues that have been raised during the process.

He highlighted that to this point No decision has been made and that the company will have to meet all federal and provincial laws and standards before any decision is made, adding that if they don't meet those conditions and requirements, they won't get a permit and that as a community what we have to do is to wait for that process to be completed.

He did observe that when it comes to the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal, the amount of scientific rigour that has been conducted on the proposal, has been unmatched, with extensive modelling taking place to try and account for all possibilities and impacts that could be found from their project.

The thirty minutes of overview offer up perhaps the most comprehensive look at what's ahead for the Port of Prince Rupert that we have seen in quite a long time.

The presentation to the Chamber makes for an extensive look at not only the vision that the Port has for its own facilities and transportation system, but how those plans could change much for the community in the way of jobs and financial return to the municipalities of the region.

It's well worth putting aside the half hour to learn more about the Port's plans and what it all may mean for the community as we head towards 2024 and beyond.

You can review the full presentation below:

For more background on developments from the Port of Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment