Northern B.C. port on schedule with terminal expansion

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PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — The vision to expand the Prince Rupert Port terminal to triple the size in an effort to accommodate growth in Asia Pacific trade seems to be moving along on schedule.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority has begun design engineering for the second phase of expansion of its new Fairview container terminal, which will open next year, reported JOC Online.

The first phase of the project, a joint venture of the port authority, Maher Terminals of New Jersey and Canadian National Railway, will give the northern B.C. port capacity to handle up to 500,000 TEUs a year.

Federal government financial contributions to the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative will provide immediate and long-term benefits for both the Prince Rupert Port and the northern corridor, said Don Krusel, port president and CEO.

We are pleased to see the commitment of $28 million from the federal government over four years to invest into Border Services at the Prince Rupert Port Authority, including the container examination facility and related services, noted Krusel.

This commitment eliminates an earlier concern that the facility and Canada Customs services at the new terminal would be charged back to the Prince Rupert Port Authority on a cost recovery basis.

Krusel is also looking to the new infrastructure fund to help support the construction of Phase 2 of the Fairview Container Port, which will increase throughput capacity to two million TEUs by its projected 2010 completion date.

With one of the deepest North American harbours that is at least a day closer to Asia than any other West Coast port, and almost unlimited capacity to expand, we are confident that Prince Rupert Port holds the key to opening the door to help Canada reclaim its role as a serious competitor and entrepreneurial leader in the world, explained Krusel.

The Port of Prince Rupert has a long-term strategic plan, aligned with the Pacific Gateway Strategy, to increase container handling capacity to four million TEUs through two terminals by 2020.

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