Coming with a price tag of $90 million, the Road, Rail and Utility Corridor (RRUC) is a significant investment opening up Ridley Island for future development, but Prince Rupert Port Authority president and CEO Don Krusel said what is happening now is just the tip of the iceberg.
“What you see is only the first phase. We anticipate investing another $150 million in that project in the future,” he told delegates at the National Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference on April 29.
Phase one of the RRUC, which is 75 per cent complete and is expected to be complete in December, includes three inbound and two outbound rail lines that are expected to service Canpotex’s proposed potash terminal. At full build out, the port authority expects 14 inbound tracks and 12 outbound tracks each capable of carrying 450 rail cars.
In addition to discussing continued expansion at Ridley Island, Krusel provided an updated timeline for some major projects in Prince Rupert. The port authority now expects the expansion of Fairview Terminal to come online in 2017, the same year as an off-dock container yard is expected to open, while the commencement of operations for Canpotex is expected in 2018 and LNG shipments could begin in 2020.
“These projects, once online, will create an additional 60 million to 80 million tonnes of capacity at the port of Prince Rupert,” he said.
Coupled with LNG developments proposed for Grassy Point, Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem is anticipating brighter times ahead.
“After construction, it could be that Prince Rupert is home to many workers even though the jobs are in Port Edward or the Tsimshian Peninsula … we believe our population will climb back up,” he said, noting the city is making land available for new subdivisions and industrial businesses.
“People are anxious for work. We want a good quality of life here.”