Port of Prince Rupert Export Logistics Project Moves Forward

A rendering of the planned Ridley Island Export Logistics Project at the Port of Prince Rupert. Image: Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) said in early March that its Ridley Island Export Logistics Project (RIELP) has reached a significant milestone: receipt of its final determination of the federal environmental effects evaluation review.

“Federal authorities have determined … that the Ridley Island Export Logistics Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects,” the port said in a March 2 statement. “This concludes the federal environmental review process, which is a prerequisite for the federal authorities to consider the required authorizations for the project to proceed.”

The export logistics complex, which is planned for the southern end of Ridley Island, would be an integrated ecosystem of large-scale bulk and breakbulk transload facilities, intermodal rail yard, and a container storage yard.

“The development will create an innovative and competitive transloading facility for commodities such as plastic pellets, cereal grains, specialty agriculture crops, lumber, and pulp to be loaded directly from rail into containers for export, creating 400,000 TEUs of export capacity in the first phase,” the port authority said in a statement.

The new export logistics facility would, according to the port authority, “increase efficiencies in export supply chains, maximizing value to Canadian exporters while supporting the substantial growth of the intermodal business at the Port of Prince Rupert.”

Following receipt of required permits, early work began in March with tree clearing and site preparation activities. The port authority said that it is working toward making a Final Investment Decision on the project with its commercial partners, expected later this year.

The RIELP is a component of a Port of Prince Rupert development plan for fully integrating intermodal activities between terminal, logistics and rail. The expected environmental benefits of the project include the densification of transload activities into a single location on Ridley Island to minimize land impacts, and proximity to Fairview Container Terminal via the dedicated Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor to minimize container truck movements and emissions, while maximizing rail usage on common infrastructure.

More information on the RIELP is available at https://tinyurl.com/5enfzkmj.

In other news, the Prince Rupert Port Authority in February marked the 10th anniversary of its Green Wave program by honoring five companies for their outstanding participation in the initiative last year.

The Green Wave program, which was launched in 2013, provides financial incentives to shippers who voluntarily invest in environmentally sustainable practices. Commercial vessels are assessed and allotted savings on their harbor dues based on the magnitude of their air emission and underwater noise performance.

The recipients of the 2022 Green Wave Award include container shipping companies COSCO Shipping Lines, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. and SM Line, along with liquified gas shipping line Navigator Gas and BC Ferries.

The port authority also acknowledged the owners of two bulk carrier vessels—he Liberia-flagged PIAVIA and Panama-flagged NBA Rubens—for employing technology to reduce the underwater noise generated by their respective ships and its impact on the communications of marine mammals on the North Coast.

Last year, the port authority introduced a new incentive for cargo vessels that plug into shore power at Fairview Container Terminal. The recently expanded infrastructure allows ships at both berths to shut down their main generators and rely on shore-based hydroelectric power while their cargo is handled.

Enabling ships to use shore power equipment is expected to reduce carbon emissions in the local airshed by nearly 30,000 tons each year—the equivalent to removing 6,500 typical passenger vehicles from the road.

According to the port authority, 208 vessel calls met the strict criteria to qualify for the Green Wave program in 2022, with 42 of those calls meeting the standards for Green Wave under a method that rates vessels on their relative efficiency. As a result, about 4,785 tons of greenhouse gas emissions were avoided in the local airshed, which is equivalent to removing 1,008 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.

“PRPA is proud of its leadership in sustainability programs and the participation rate it garners from the shipping industry calling on the Port of Prince Rupert as we all work together to continuously improve environmental performance in our industry and accelerate the adoption of sustainability practices globally,” Prince Rupert Port Authority President and CEO Shaun Stevenson said. “The Green Wave program is one of the many ways in which we work to achieve this.”