A $25 million investment by the provincial government will improve and expand operations at the Port of Prince Rupert aiding B.C. and Canadian exporters’ competitiveness and opportunities in international trade, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) announced on Jan. 14 in a media release.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority will lead the infrastructure expansion and improvement project at the Ridley Island Export Logistics Platform. The project will span more than 28 hectares (70 acres). It will create a platform to enhance the port’s capacity for transloading B.C. and western Canadian natural resource products for containerized export by sea to international markets. Transloading is the process of transferring a shipment from one mode of transportation to another.
“This pivotal project presents an unprecedented opportunity for sustainable economic recovery, improved competitiveness, and greater diversification and stability throughout northern B.C.,” Shaun Stevenson president and CEO of Prince Rupert Port Authority said.
The project is expected to provide substantive economic benefits, including supporting regional businesses and creating 200 jobs in transloading, plus an additional 2,000 jobs in areas such as warehousing, longshore work and trucking.
Once built, this new platform will increase the port’s export transloading capacity from 75,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to over 400,000 TEUs annually. The completed project will come with new and updated rail tracks and dedicated roadways to and from the Fairview Container Terminal. It will also feature new offloading and storage facilities plus related large-scale equipment.
“Our investment in the Port of Prince Rupert will help create new good-paying jobs in our region, while improving western trade corridors and helping Canadian importers and exporters get goods to market,” Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, on behalf of Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said.
“It will support regional businesses and provide the necessary infrastructure to boost our provincial economy to help build back stronger from the hit of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an important investment in the future of Prince Rupert and of B.C. as a whole,” Rice said.
The project is funded through a mix of public and private investment, including a $49.8-million federal contribution through the National Trade Corridors Fund and a $25-million provincial contribution as part of StrongerBC, B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, MOTI said in the release.
Harold Leighton, Chief Councillor of Metlakatla First Nation said it participates in many aspects of the growth of the container business at the Port of Prince Rupert through agreements, port infrastructure construction projects and entrepreneurial ventures like Gat Leedm trucking.
“The development of the export logistics platform is another opportunity to continue our shared success through both business and employment opportunities,” Leighton said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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