The Prince Rupert Port Authority may have broke records in 2012, but those at the annual general meeting on June 19 were told the best is yet to come.
A total of 22.2 million tonnes of goods moved through Prince Rupert in 2012, an increase of more than 15 per cent from 2011. As a result, revenues at the port authority rose by 40 per cent last year, climbing from $26.22 million in 2011 to $36.76 million in 2012.
Last year was also one of growth for Prince Rupert, with Ridley Terminals undertaking an expansion to double its coal-handling capacity, work beginning on the Pinnacle Renewable Resources pellet export terminal at Fairview Terminal and approval being received for the Road, Rail and Utility Corridor on Ridley Island.
“In 2012, the highlight reel of accomplishments experienced in this close-knit coastal community is something everyone in the region can be proud of. Prince Rupert now serves as a strong vital link between the world’s most dynamic economies,” said board chair Bud Smith.
“Increasingly we anchor future prosperity for thousands of Canadian families who rely on trade flowing safely through our gateway port.”
Looking to the future, port authority president and CEO Don Krusel outlined growth that could realize 90 million tonnes coming to or going out of Prince Rupert with the expansion of Fairview Terminal and possible terminals including LNG, potash and bulk.
“Vessel calls in 2012 numbered approximately 430. By the time we get to 2020, we expect a tripling of that,” he said.
“Our commitment is that as we grow from 400 vessels to 1,200 vessels, we will maintain our record of safety … with that kind of traffic, we want to make sure we are prepared.”
Another message that Krusel focussed on during his presentation was that while the projects are being worked on in Prince Rupert, the work being done are benefitting families and business across the globe.
“We here in town think of this as our port, the port of Prince Rupert … I was in Memphis at a meeting of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce and talk about it as their port, their gateway to Asia. When I am in Asia, they talk about it as their port, their gateway to North America,” he said, pointing to employment on farms, in mines and in the forest sector depending on Prince Rupert’s development.
“There has been a pivotal shift in the forest product industry from the U.S. to Asia and it is having Fairview Terminal that has allowed those in the northern forest industry to make that shift … I can confidently say that if it was not for the container terminal being there, many of those in the forest sector would not have been able to make that change and survive.”