As you can tell from the story generously provided by The Tumbler Ridge News in last week’s issue of the Prince Rupert Northern View, not everyone is happy with Ridley Terminals signing an agreement to provide a set amount of capacity to a US company.
Frankly they’re justified in their disapproval of the contract – after all Ridley Terminals is a Canadian Crown Corporation owned by the people of this country to promote and assist in the development of the mining industry in the western provinces and northeastern BC as a whole.
That being said, I think people expressing their disappointment and concerns is nothing but a good thing for Prince Rupert and Ridley Terminals. That may sound strange to say, but it does make sense.
The concern by people about Ridley Terminals selling capacity at the terminal to a US coal company shows one thing and one thing only: There is a need for more capacity at the terminal to better benefit the people of Canada.
What Ridley Terminals did was sign a contract for guaranteed volumes at the expense of, what is right now, potential volumes in the future. And is there a better way to show the governments of BC and Canada that more capacity is needed in order to meet the demands of the Asian markets than to reach capacity with existing mining operations and have countless more mining operations complain because they’ll need capacity when their project comes online?
It’s basically making the business case for expansion as clear as it possibly can be: The facility is full with coal from companies that want to reach Asia, and there are a lot more companies that want to reach Asia using Ridley Terminals – we need more capacity.
The expansion at Ridley Terminals to double capacity will not only benefit the north coast, but those mining operations and communities raising their voices now by ensuring there is enough shipping capacity for that coal volume and more that may be coming.