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In Our Opinion: RTI coal goals

The forecast for Ridley Terminals is looking good if the coal market stays hot
Ridley Island Inc.’s coal terminal. (File photo)

Despite a drop in total revenues in 2016, a $12-million legal settlement, and a 10 per cent decrease in coal shipments, the president and CEO of Ridley Terminals Inc. was in good spirits.

“Cautiously optimistic” was the catch phrase at the annual general meeting held on Aug. 9 to the public.

The financial report wasn’t all rainbows, but there were nuggets of gold nestled within that suggests diversification is the right move for the coal-based terminal. For example, AltaGas, which is currently building a propane export terminal on the island, has already handed over a deposit of $8 million — a much needed boost to help the financial statements look less grim.

Also, unlike the weather forecast for Prince Rupert during the solar eclipse, Ridley’s forecast for thermal coal demand seems promising in the near and distant future.

Although it spent millions in the legal settlement, the positive spin was that Ridley Terminals gained the assets on the site and could potentially ship wood pellets, or some other product — more diversification.

Coal mines are opening, Asia is opting for cleaner coal from Canada and the market is picking up. The optimism dreamed up is slowly coming to fruition.

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