The government of Canada Thursday announced investments totaling C$153.7 million toward infrastructure projects that will improve capacity, terminal access, and cargo velocity at the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia.
Prince Rupert and Vancouver have key intermodal rail connections to Chicago and beyond and are increasingly relying on the US market for growth opportunities. According to a study by Mercator, 27.4 percent of the two ports’ total container volume last year originated in or was destined for the United States, up from 23.7 percent in 2015.
Prince Rupert handled a record 1 million laden and empty TEU last year, according to port statistics. Its current annual capacity is 1.35 million TEU, with short-term expansion plans to increase capacity to 1.8 million TEU by 2022, while longer-term plans project an annual capacity of more than 6 million TEU.
The port authority and Canadian National Railway are the recipients of $60.6 million for improvements to the Zanardi Bridge and Causeway project. That project, with a projected total cost of $122 million, will reduce operational conflicts and increase rail capacity at Prince Rupert. Key components include construction of a new double-track bridge across the Zanardi Rapids, rehabilitation of the existing single-track bridge, and expansion of the causeway between the bridge and Ridley Island.
The port also received $49.85 million toward $100 million needed for rail infrastructure required to service the Ridley Island Export Logistics Platform project. The rail infrastructure is a precursor to a bulk transload facility, a breakbulk facility, and an integrated off-dock container yard designed to attract private sector investment in export transloading and warehouse capacity.
The Metlakatla Development Corp., the economic arm of the Metlakatla First Nation, was the recipient of $43.3 million toward the Metlakatla Import Logistics Park. The $89 million project will enable transload and warehouse operations to provide increased flexibility and value-added capabilities for import supply chains. It will be a strategic complement to the Export Logistics Platform and will be fully integrated into DP World’s Fairview container terminal and the port’s intermodal operations.
The federal grants are being made through Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund.