If you had asked residents 10 years ago to describe the City of Prince Rupert, the likely response would have been ‘fishing community’ or even ‘pulp mill town.’ Today, you’re more likely to hear the words ‘port city.’ “With 25 per cent of the labour force directly employed by port facilities,” said Don Krusel, Prince Rupert Port Authority’s President and CEO, “as the Port economy goes, so goes the City of Prince Rupert.” In fact, Prince Rupert’s success is having an impact on the entire region of northern B.C. Over 3,000 full-time positions and $200 million annually in wages were attributed to the movement of goods through Prince Rupert in 2014. And, given the projects currently under development and proposed, those numbers are poised to grow even more.
Looking first at the expansion of Fairview Terminal, while the current project will bring capacity to 1.35 million TEUs, PRPA and terminal operator DP World are now in the planning stages for a further expansion to increase that capacity to 2.5 million TEUs. Krusel estimates that the terminal will be operating at full capacity by 2022. (Details on Fairview’s expansion can be found in the B.C. Terminal Activity Update on page 20).
Photo above: Fairview Terminal (courtesy Lonnie Wishart - www.lonniewishart.com)
To facilitate that growth, construction will start this fall on a six-kilometre private, industrial road that will link Fairview to Ridley Island industrial property. In addition to easing truck traffic that would normally move through the municipality, the road will cut transit times from the current 21 kilometres to provide for a huge savings on drayage. The project is expected to take 18 months and carries an $80-million price tag.