The Prince Rupert Port Authority hosted its annual review of the state of the Port for 2022 last Thursday evening, their Annual Public Meeting of providing a review of Port Performance, future plans and the financial themes of the business of Port operations in the city.
As well the night featured questions from the public both from the audience at the Crest Hotel and those submitted prior to the session through the Port's Communication office.
Monika Côté hosted the evening, providing the introductions to each of the evening's segments.
The themes of Diversification of Port operations served as the working narrative as the best way for the Prince Rupert Port Authority to navigate the global headwinds they are facing.
Board Chair Frans Tjallingii opened the hour long presentation with a few comments on the operations of the PRPA for the last year
"2022 was a year of challenges and opportunities for the Port of Prince Rupert. While continuing to face the supply chain headwinds important work was accomplished to enable the continued growth and diversification of the Prince Rupert Gateway.
This afternoon you will hear from our team about the specifics for 2022, but from a Board perspective it was notable in terms of the continued commitment to pursuing the Development plans that will determine the next chapter of the Prince Rupert Gateway. While ensuring a sustainable operation that prioritizes environmental sustainability and relationships with Indigenous partners:
Mr. Tjallingii also noted that the Board anticipates the challenging years through global uncertainty to continue for the near future term, observing that it is the Boards role to continue building for the long term.
"The Port has everything it needs to secure over 2 billion in potential new project investment which represents supply chain capacity and resiliency for Canada, new employment, economic opportunity for and tax base for the local community and surrounding region.
PRPA is dedicated to realizing a vision of a competitive, diverse and sustainable gateway.
The Board also realizes that it's crucial to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with the diverse local First Nations and communities. And to take steps to ensure our joint values are reflected in a shared vision for the future.
This helps us create ways to jointly achieve extraordinary success"
Towards that review of 2022 and the plans ahead, Port President and CEO Shaun Stevenson provided for a significant portion of the overview.
Mr. Stevenson opened his presentation with a salute to those working at the PRPA, part of what he referred to as a remarkable team working with the partners of the Gateway Community which is all part of Team Prince Rupert.
From the praise of staff and Gateway partners and service providers, the Port CEO and President pivoted to the challenge of the last few years.
"2022 was certainly a year of challenges and a dynamic backdrop of the trade that we anchor through the Port of Prince Rupert.
As we came out of the backend of the Pandemic and the dynamics we saw geopolitically in the world, we're continuing to navigate those changes, changes that were seeing evolve even into 2023 and affecting our lines of business"
The review of Port Performance highlighted some of those challenges with Mr. Stevenson reflecting on a lower total volume of cargo that passed through the Port in 2022 from that of 2021.
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The Port CEO highlighted some of the promising areas he observed from the 25 million tonnes in port cargo shipped in 2022.
Among those exports from Alta Gas, Pembina Gas and Drax's Westview Terminal.
When it comes to the most prominent feature on the Prince Rupert Waterfront, Mr. Stevenson noted of the current challenges facing the DP World Container facility.
"DP World's Fairview Terminal continued to see challenges within supply chain congestion and saw a modest decline of 2 percent in the volume of containers moved through the Fairview Container Terminal with just over a million TEU's moved"
Another area of of note for the CEO from the Operations of Trigon Terminal with flat results in coal, balanced by the growing prospects for their Gas shipments.
"Another area of sort of called flat performance, was the performance of Trigon Pacific Terminal, formerly known as Ridley Terminals where they saw a total of 7 million tonnes through the terminal over the course of the year. When you combine that though with the volumes through the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal they saw 8.8 million tonnes.
So while they saw a modest decline in dry bulk volumes through the terminal, combined with propane it was a very busy place and Trigon is a critically important part of our Operations within the Port of Prince Rupert"
Also facing challenges in 2022, was Prince Rupert Grain and the volume of product passing through Prince Rupert.