The Port of Prince Rupert is preparing to break ground on a new road for the Fairview terminal which would bypass the city altogether.
At the port annual general meeting on Tuesday, June 20, Shaun Stevenson, VP trade development and public affairs shared with the audience three areas of potential opportunities and the need for a new road to accommodate existing and expanded traffic.
First, liquid bulk transports like LNG (liquid natural gas,) NGL (natural gas liquids like propane and butane,) and refined petroleum products could be on the increase. Stevenson cited projects like Pacific Northwest LNG getting the green light, AltaGas’ decision to build a propane export terminal on Ridley Island and the potential for value-added Alberta petroleum products to be shipped from the terminal.
Second, Stevenson said that there is the potential for an increase in break bulk cargo with the port engaged in ongoing discussions with Western Steveadoring to open a terminal to export things like forest products, pulp lumber, steel and even finished autos.
Stevenson also stated that there was a transformation of Canadian agrifood and that there was an increase in demand from Asia for lentils, peas and soy.
“Things we’re really good at growing,” he said, adding that it was key to create market access by expanding or diversifying existing terminals.
Third, Stevenson said that with an expanded container terminal coming online later this year, there’s an opportunity to expand business through expanding not only a number of containers coming into the port, but also to expand the number being exported.
Increased port traffic means increased traffic and Stevenson said he was aware of the impact increased truck traffic could have on Prince Rupert.
“We are very very focused in the Fairview connector road project,” he said. Adding that the road would connect the south end of the terminal to Ridley Island and completely bypass the city.
“That project is a top infrastructure project priority for the Port of Prince Rupert,” he said, adding that the project is in the detailed engineering stages.
“We’re hoping to be in construction later this year,” he said.
A previous version of this story referred to Shaun Stevenson as Steve Stevenson.