Canada to invest C$15M in Port of Prince Rupert's Road Rail Utility Corridor initiative on Ridley Island; corridor project intended to unlock port expansion, further position Canada as gateway of choice for global supply chains between Asia, North America

PRINCE RUPERT, British Columbia , February 24, 2012 (press release) – During a waterfront gathering at noon today, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, announced that the Government of Canada will be contributing $15 million to the Port of Prince Rupert’s Road Rail Utility Corridor initiative on Ridley Island. By providing shared-use transportation and utility infrastructure for development sites, the Corridor project will unlock port expansion and job creation on Ridley Island.

“This project will create local jobs, economic growth and prosperity for workers and businesses, while supporting Canada’s broad and ambitious pro-trade plan,” said Minister Fast. “Investments in projects such as the RRUC are strengthening our competitive advantages and further positioning Canada as the gateway of choice for global supply chains between Asia and North America. As a result of these strategic investments and partnerships, Canadian exports to the Asia-Pacific region have reached record levels.”

The $90-million Road Rail Utility Corridor project will expand the Port of Prince Rupert’s capacity to meet Asia’s demand for Western Canada’s natural resources. As the closest North American port to booming Asian markets, Prince Rupert has seen consistent increases in its international exports.

“The Road Rail Utility Corridor is the foundation of our ten-year Gateway 20/20 Vision,” said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “It literally paves the way for bulk, container, and logistics terminal developments that will create employment and other economic opportunities along our North American trade routes.”

“Today’s investment by the Government of Canada is the capstone on a unique partnership encompassing the public and private sectors,” said Krusel.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority and CN have each contributed $30 million to the project. The Government of British Columbia made a commitment of $15 million last September.

““It is an affirmation by our partners that Prince Rupert’s growth potential is vast,” said Krusel. “It also signifies their confidence in how we are growing. We place paramount importance on respecting the safety of our neighbours and our ecosystem. All our projects are being shaped by our concern for security and sustainability.”

The Road Rail Utility Corridor will consist of three inbound and two outbound tracks for coal, potash and other bulk terminal developments. Two additional tracks will form a loop around the main part of Ridley Island and one new track will extend off the rail loop toward Ridley Terminals, Inc. The project also includes 69 kV electric and water utility extensions into the middle of the island to support bulk terminal development as well as road improvements along the new rail corridor.

Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-to-late 2012, with a completion date in 2014.

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