Parliamentary Secretary to the Minster of Transport described Prince Rupert described the region as ‘poised for growth’ when he announced $22M in federal investment to grow the port. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: Build now to avoid a bottleneck

Why $22M from the federal government into Prince Rupert’s port is just the beginning

Poised for growth.

That was how the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minster of Transport described Prince Rupert.

Terry Beech was in town on Nov. 7 to announce nearly $22-million in federal investment for the growth of Canada’s second largest port and closest trade gateway to Asia.

A recent focus in the paper was on the micro-perspective of business, what we see from day to day. The businesses shutting down, and the questionable future for retail. However, when you look at Prince Rupert from Ottawa’s eyes, with AltaGas coming online in 2019, and Vopak investigating a storage and export facility on Ridley, the upcoming sale of Ridley Terminals… the region is already growing, with potential for much more growth ­­— which is why avoiding the foreseeable bottleneck is key right now.

READ MORE: Government invests nearly $22M in Port of Prince Rupert

Much of federal investment is going into a two-lane road to divert traffic from downtown, and to improve travel times to Fairview Terminal by 22 minutes. To compare, the Airport Board shaved off 20-30 minutes for passengers leaving the Rupert airport for downtown. That’s a noticeable amount of time.

But the rail bottleneck is the big one.

There’s going to be a lot of product-by-rail transported to the North Coast in the near future. AltaGas plans to ship 1.2-million tonnes of propane annually, Pembina on Watson Island, intends to ship 600,000 tonnes of propane a year, Ridley Terminals expects to ship nine-million tonnes of coal this year — a train was set to arrive on Nov. 14 with 218 cars — and in the near future it wants to expand to load two vessels simultaneously. At Fairview, containerized cargo is up 15 per cent from the previous year, and pellet shipments from Westview Terminal is up eight per cent.

Phase 2B expansion plans to increase throughput to 1.8 million TEUs once complete in 2022, by then Vopak may have been approved and possibly even in operation. Vopak’s project description states there will be 240 rail cars per day at full capacity.

Then to our south in Kitimat there’s a propane project in the works that could add another 60 rail cars a day to the region.

Poised for growth, the North Coast has its pockets wide open waiting for more investment from the federal government, and other stakeholders, to ensure a well-prepared rail network for the swelling North Coast trade industry.

READ MORE: Trade continues to increase through Port of Prince Rupert

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

In Our Opinion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read