Prince Rupert’s ship continues to come in

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C.– The Port of Prince Rupert continued its annual growth in shipment volumes, surpassing 10 million tonnes in 2007 for the first time in a decade.

The 2007 total volume cargo of 10.6 million tonnes is a 36.8 percent increase over 2006 and a 237 percent jump over 2005.

Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) president and CEO Don Krusel, said increasing global demand for industrial fuels including coal and petroleum coke, continued strong markets for agricultural products, start up of new lines of business including containers and wood pellets, and competitive advantages of shipping through Prince Rupert were all contributing factors to the port’s exceptional 2007 performance.

“While 2007 represents a significant milestone and turning point for the Port of Prince Rupert on a number of fronts, Ridley Terminals and Prince Rupert Grain continue to lead the way,” noted Krusel.

Ridley Terminals’ (RTI) throughput of 5.09 million tonnes was an increase of 80.7 percent over 2006 and 500 percent increase over 2005. RTI also began shipping coking coal from Alberta as well as wood pellets from Houston, B.C., through its newly constructed facility to world markets as a bio fuel and coal substitute.

Prince Rupert Grain (PRG), achieved in excess of five million tonnes throughput in 2007 for the first time since 1994 and only the fourth time since the facility was built in 1984.

“Both terminals continue to elevate their performances and, combined with the opening of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal and start up of other operations such as wood pellets, have positioned us for strong growth in 2008 and beyond,” added Krusel.

The arrival of the first container ship from COSCO on Oct. 31, 2007 at the recently completed Prince Rupert Container Terminal marked the opening of a new Asia-North America express trade corridor and heralded a new era for the Port of Prince Rupert. COSCO’s weekly service moved 16,703 TEUs through the facility for the two months of operation in 2007.

“Overall, the Prince Rupert Port Authority exceeded its throughput targets for 2007 while completing the ambitious container terminal project on time and on budget,” said PRPA Board of Directors chair Dale MacLean. “Our focus now is to achieve full utilization of the 500,000 TEU facility and complete the groundwork to begin the construction of Phase 2 of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal by early 2009.”

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