Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Prince Rupert Port Authority Annual Report charts year of challenges and opportunities

If it hasn't arrive yet, it soon will ... with the 2021 Annual Report for the Prince Rupert Port Authority making it way to mailboxes around the region over the last few days.

The eight page booklet, a companion piece to an online overview now available on the Port's website serves as a follow up on last weeks Annual Public Meeting presentations at the Crest Hotel.

The home mailer features an overview of how the Port has weathered the COVID pandemic, co-authored by President and CEO Shaun Stevenson and Board Chair Frans Tjallingii

Among the themes explored how the Port and its partners were impacted by Global events with cargo declines among the areas of note, though in a year of challenges, one area did see some increases that in the export of Liquid propane, that as the Pembina export facility moved into operations to add to the exports of the Ridley Export Terminal.

The Port of Prince Rupert was not immune to the headwinds that the entire supply chain industry faced. Annual cargo volumes declined in 2021, with 25 million tonnes of cargo moving through the Gateway. While the container and dry bulk lines of business experienced declines in their tonnage, the propane terminals saw an increase in volume - AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal had a 29% increase year-over-year, and the commissioning of Pembina’s Prince Rupert Liquid Bulk Export Terminal on Watson Island added new volume to the Gateway.

A chart included as part of both the print and online versions of the report provides the details on some of those cargo numbers.

The challenges of 2021 also are noted as an opportunity to continue on with diversification plans to help to cushion future economic downturns. Gateway Growth and some of the elements that impacted on shipping make for a page of the print and online versions, noting of how worldwide supply chain congestion has resulted in a 23% fall of cargo volumes in 2021.

The decrease in various lines of business only reinforces the need to sustainably grow and diversify the port complex in order to create stability during times of natural market fluctuations. And the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) did just that in 2021 - working diligently on plans to diversify and expand the Port’s capabilities to enable Canadian trade. 

Several projects are underway to enhance the intermodal ecosystem, including the expansion of DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal, the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor, and work to advance state-of-the-art import and export logistics facilities. The Vopak Pacific Canada project continued to work through its environmental assessment and required authorizations to support a potential Final Investment Decision in 2022.

Also of note from their opening remarks for the report, ongoing stakeholder engagement, partnerships with local Indigenous communities and the continued growth for employment not only in the Prince Rupert area, but along the Northern Gateway corridor in communities far beyond the north coast.

Safety and Sustainability themes also are explored extensively, the Port observing of 1 vessel incident of the 352 vessel calls in 2021, as well as towards health and safety measures in place for the Port operations.

The progress for the Green Wave program, installation of shore power at the DP World facility, Seal Cove Salt Marsh bait work and upgrades to a Smithers Fish Hatchery all gain a review, as does the scope of the Community Investment Fund and how it has benefited community projects and initiatives across the Northwest.

The full online presentation can be explored further here.

Still to come from the Prince Rupert Port Authority will be the release of the video of last week's Annual Public Meeting, which will give Port watchers who couldn't attend the function an opportunity to view many of the presentations that made for that session of last week.

We'll update our readers when that has been made available.

For more notes of interest on the Prince Rupert Port Authority see our archive page here.

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