Date: 6th May 2005

New Canadian terminal in BC to open early 2007

THE Canadian and British Columbia (BC) governments have approved a C$60 million (US$47.98 million) funding for a new Port of Prince Rupert container terminal, that will be located north of Vancouver, which when fully completed will be able to handle two million TEU annually.

The facility is to be built by Canadian National Railway (CN) container terminal operator, Maher Terminals of Canada Corporation, and the Prince Rupert Port Authority, and part of the terminal will start operations in the first quarter of 2007.

According to a company statement, CN has obtained approval from its board of directors to increase its financial contribution to the terminal to $30 million from $15 million. Of the $30 million total, half the amount will be spent on the intermodal yard at the port, $10 million on terminal trackage, and $5 million on infrastructure improvements to CN's BC North line so that it can accommodate double-stack container cars.

Maher Terminals of Canada Corporation plans to install three large container cranes at the terminal, together with supporting container handling equipment and technology, at a cost of approximately $60 million.

The Port of Prince Rupert is completing bank financing for its $25 million contribution to the container terminal development, the statement added.

Phase 1 of the terminal development is expected to provide initial throughput capacity of 500,000 TEU per year.

President and CEO of CN, E Hunter Harrison said: "CN is excited with the progress being made toward launching the Prince Rupert container terminal in the first quarter of 2007. CN will be ready. It has the capacity, service and transit times to make Prince Rupert a true success. CN's network will offer fast access from Prince Rupert to the key markets of Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Memphis."

Brian Maher, chairman and CEO of Maher Terminals of Canada Corporation, said: "We're forging ahead with our crane order and operating plan to be ready with our partners to start handling containerised goods through the port in the first quarter of 2007. Congestion at major ports along the west coast of North America remains a significant issue, and dialogue with the international steamship and shipping community indicates a real interest in using the Port of Prince Rupert for container traffic. We have a clear window of opportunity to put Prince Rupert on the world map."

Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said: "The opening of this new terminal will not only bolster Canada's international trading ability, but also create a new North American gateway for goods moving between Asia and the principal markets of Canada and the United States. This development will also deliver solid economic benefits to Prince Rupert and Northern British Columbia - Phase 1 of the project alone is expected to generate nearly 500 direct and indirect jobs."