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West Coast port aims to build on strong 2006

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. -- The Port of Prince Rupert experienced its best year since 2000, despite the closure of its F...

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — The Port of Prince Rupert experienced its best year since 2000, despite the closure of its Fairview break-bulk terminal for conversion to a container port.

The port handled 7.7 million metric tonnes of commodities in 2006, compared to 4.4 million metric tonnes in 2005.

Don Krusel, president and CEO for the Prince Rupert Port Authority attributed the substantial increase in 2006 tonnage throughput as a direct result of Prince Rupert Grain and Ridley Terminals capitalizing on improved market conditions, and more competitive freight rates to aggressively pursue new business while handling more products for current customers.

The credit for the Port of Prince Ruperts impressive 2006 performance belongs to the management and staff of Prince Rupert Grain and Ridley Terminals, noted Krusel. They seized the opportunities presented to them and successfully delivered their higher throughputs to meet the needs and expectations of their customers.

Prince Rupert Grain throughput increased more than 52% from 3.1 million tonnes in 2005 to 4.7 million tonnes. The opening of new coal mines in northern B.C. and strong Asian demand for thermal coal fueled a 177% increase in coal throughput to 2.8 million tonnes in 2006.

As part of Ridley Terminals strategy to diversify and grow its business, the terminal began construction on a wood pellet handling operation to move wood pellets, scheduled for completion in early spring 2007.

The Port of Prince Ruperts strong 2006 performance is anticipated to continue growing in 2007 and be further strengthened with the completed conversion of the Fairview Terminal to a 500,000 TEU container handling facility in October 2007.

2006 was a turning point for the Port of Prince Rupert in its aggressive transformation from a regional port to become a competitive participant in the global economy, said Dale MacLean, chair of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. We are looking forward to working with our port partners and stakeholders along the Northwest Transportation Corridor to capitalize on the enormous opportunities presented by Asia to our collective benefit.

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