On Sept. 20 the Prince Rupert Port Authority met with the Houston council to discuss the terminal expansion projects and how that might affect the community.
Houston works with and is affected by two terminals in Prince Rupert; the Fairview Container Terminal and the Westview WoodPellet Terminal.
“Fairview Container Terminal is currently undergoing an expansion, which will see a second berth added and an increase in annual container capacity from 850,000 to 1.3 million TEUs [twenty foot equivalent units]. The Fairview expansion means there will be an increase in capacity for imports from Asia as well as Canadian exports, including forest products from companies such as Canfor, which operates in Houston,” explained Michael Gurney, Manager and Corporate Communications for Port of Prince Rupert.
Westview Wood Pellet Terminal presently does not have any plans for expansion.
The project cost of Phase 2 of the North Terminal expansion, which includes Fairview Container, is $200 million.
“[It] is being undertaken by Fairview terminal operator DP World. FRPD-BEL Gateway Joint Venture was selected as the general contractor. The project involves reclamation of approximately 3.7 hectares of land as well as installation of three new cranes and associated rubber-tire gantries,” commented Gurney.
As an extension of existing on-dock rail capacity, three working racks will also be added to the expanded terminal footprint as an upgrade to the rail services.
This phase of the expansion is scheduled to be completed and operable by the fourth quarter of 2017.
For Houston this means a likely increase of rail traffic, but not an increase of truck traffic on Hwy. 16.
“There is no predicted increase in truck traffic along Hwy. 16, however, there will be an increase in intermodal train traffic related to the Fairview expansion. Currently there are on average two inbound and two outbound intermodal trains travelling each day along CN’s northern mainline, and with the completion of the expansion at Fairview there will be a modest increase in rail traffic, which is dependent on the volumes at the terminal,” said Gurney.