Thursday, June 21, 2018

Shaun Stevenson puts focus on Port of Prince Rupert's short and long term future plans

Looking towards the future provided for the guiding theme for Tuesday night's Annual Public Meeting from the Port of Prince Rupert and one of the architects of the path ahead will be the newly introduced President and CEO Shaun Stevenson.

As part of Tuesday's public event, Mr. Stevenson provided for the review of projects both currently underway and those for the future, providing a glimpse as to the ever expanding footprint that the Port is making on the Prince Rupert and North Coast shoreline.

He led off with a review of the container shipping industry on the North Coast, noting the cooperation between the partners at DP World and CN to grow the service through Prince Rupert and the attraction of new marine carriers to serve Canadian trade noting the arrival of the PS8 service to the port and all that it offers as far as reach into Asia.

Looking to the future, he highlighted that while the Port continues to support the US  market, the empty containers on the return also offer export opportunities for Canadian firms.

"It's critically important that we continue to serve the U.S. market because it provides those containers at a discount, or subsidized rate for Canadian exports and its exciting to see that overall growth"

He provided a short overview on the big announcement of the day, the planned expansion of the container port and how it indicates the confidence that investors have in Prince Rupert and the belief that the port has a competitive advantage to bring to trade.

"The focus of the expansion will be to expand the container yard and bring it into balance and expand the capacity of the terminal to almost 500,000 TEU's and really realized the initial vision of the terminal of a 2 million TEU facility"

Among some of the notes on the review:

The expansion of capacity that will see an additional 500,000 TEU"s added to the flow of cargo that will pass through the port annually.

Two marine berths, seven cranes, balance through expansion of the container

Relocation of the truck gate to the south side of the terminal as part of the advancement of the Fairview connector road

Other terminal operators and partners also made for part of the review of the last year for the Port.

RayMont Logistics offers a significant opportunity for agri-cargo moving through the port and a significant employment opportunity for the community.

Hunt Refrigeration Services, a critical addition which offers opportunity for seafood, pork and poultry exports out of Prince Rupert.

Both are part of the expansion of the footprint on the Port and offer expanded employment opportunities for longshore workers and companies that service the industry, the Port continues to work closely with partners such as the Metlakatla Development Corporation and other providers to continue to develop the industry.

On energy, Stevenson made note of the winding down process of the LNG industry that had arrived on the scene in recent years and noted with some disappointment that those projects have  not moved forward, adding however, that it's not the end of the story over potential for the energy sector.

While LNG is shifting away from Prince Rupert, the Port CEO noted that as the opportunities move forward for the Kitimat region, a number of other energy projects could be generated to take advantage of the Port of Prince Rupert's terminal facilities.

Towards that, he made note of the propane export facility currently under construction at Ridley Island, with AltaGas/Vopak moving forward with their project and what other opportunities that it could offer to the community in the way of other energy components in the way of value added energy projects.

He also observed how the Ridley propane project is helping to diversify the RTI facility to balance its reliance on the coal sector.

From the Vopak involvement with AltaGas, the Dutch company is now investigating the potential for a larger scale liquid bulk export facility for Ridley Island.

"We're excited about this project, we're excited about having a world class proponent like Vopak investigating a project in Prince Rupert  and we expect that the environmental process will start this summer"

The prospect for further agricultural shipments was stressed as well, with Stevenson noting how Prince Rupert Grain and RayMont are both poised for future growth and expanded global trade opportunities

Expansion for the Port's footprint was a key element of the presentation, with the Gateway 2020 plan and increased capacity for the Ridley Island area featuring a range of projects, some of which have been completed, while others are still in the planning phase.

A connector road south of Fairview Terminal and some large scale
logistics expansion is on the horizon for the Port of Prince Rupert

As part of the details on a map that was projected for the audience at the Convention Centre on Tuesday, was the preview of the expansion plans of the future.

Showcasing how the Port has impressive plans for logistics park development in a number of locations surrounding Ridley island.

Listed as part of that future investment plans were.

The Import Logistics park on South side of Mount Hays along the Ridley Island Access Road 

Expansion of logistics options to the north of the Zanardi Bridge and Marine Expansion project

Export Logistics Park on Ridley Island 

One of the key projects that will provide access to all of the port footprint is the Fairview Connector Corridor Road which will deliver trucks and containers and other goods between the Fairview Container Terminal and the Ridley Industrial site, eliminating any need for travel through the downtown area.

"This is a critical project to create an entire intermodal eco-system if you will, to connect both the terminal and logistics facilities that will grow and expand  their services to the cargoes that are inside the container. In addition and maybe more importantly, it entirely eliminates trucks through the downtown core. 

It means that we can seamlessly operate those facilities between the terminal and the transloaders without crossing a public road. And that means that the growing truck activity that is a good sign of economic growth an the growth of the container business, that we're seeing through the downtown core will be virtually invisible " -- Shaun Stevenson outlining the details for the Fairview Connector Road, the  next major infrastructure project ahead for the Port of Prince Rupert.  

Welcome news for Prince Rupert residents, the next major initiative for
the Port of Prince Rupert will be a connector road from Fairview to
Ridley Island, eliminating container traffic through the downtown core

Stevenson called the connector road the most strategic infrastructure project that the port has before it and noted how it builds confidence towards other development interest in the region and was part of the recent decision by DP World to further expand the Container Terminal.

The new CEO and President observed that the Department of Fisheries has approved the permit for the proposed development, with the Port awaiting approval and confirmation through a consultative process with First Nations communities.  

Stevenson stated that there are hopes to have the construction of the Fairview Connector Road underway this fall.

As he wrapped up his presentation to Tuesday's gathering the ongoing theme of building Canada's share of global trade provided for Mr. Stevenson's final thoughts.

"The Port of Prince Rupert continues to pursue and realize our purpose of building a better Canada through growing trade, if you look at our growth that we've seen over the last decade, the growth that we've seen over the last year, is evidence of that. 

At the end of the day whether its a TEU, or a tonne of cargo it represents an economic opportunity, and the successful growth of the Port of Prince Rupert is not only a success here in Prince Rupert and the jobs it creates and the economic vitality but it's also a success for the City of Prince Rupert, Northern BC and all of Canada in the trade it supports."

You can review the full presentation from Tuesday from the Port of Prince Rupert Facebook page.

The new Port CEO and President's review starts at the forty nine minute mark.

As well, more notes related to the Annual Report from the Port can be reviewed here.

You can review the range of talking points that we have highlighted from this years Annual Public Meeting from our archive page here.

More items of interest related to the Port and its partners can be found here.

 To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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