November 12, 2012
B.C. port expansion plan inches forward
The construction of the proposed Fairview Terminal expansion in Prince Rupert B.C. is moving forward as federal regulators invite the public for input on the project.
Prince Rupert Port Authority and Canadian National Railway Company are proposing to expand the existing Fairview Container Terminal at Prince Rupert Harbour to increase the facility’s current design capacity of 500,000 twenty foot equivalent (TEUs) per annum to 2,000,000 TEUs per annum.
The expansion project will be constructed in two stages: a Northern Expansion (Stage 1) and a Southern Expansion (Stage 2).
Stage 1 will be constructed immediately following completion of the Environmental Assessment and subsequent permitting process (fall 2012).
It will involve the construction of the northern portion of the terminal, the proposed road between the terminal and Ridley Island, and at least one CN siding.
Construction of Stage 1 is anticipated to take between 30 and 36 months. The target date for operation of the first stage is 2015. Stage 2 is the development of the area south and east (upland) of the existing terminal.
The primary construction activities include: demolition; clearing, grubbing and stripping; rock cut and earth works; dredging and disposal at sea; perimeter berm construction and land reclamation; ground improvement/densification and track construction. As part of the project, CN Rail is proposing to build two rail sidings, a maintenance road and wye (a triangular shaped arrangement of railway tracks with a switch point at each corner) in order to achieve terminal throughput design capacity.
This project represents an estimated $650 million capital expansion plan that will see the extension of the wharf to 800 metres, while maintaining a 17-metre minimum water depth. This increases the dock area to 165 acres and doubles the number of super post-Panamax cranes.
The expanded facility would have an on-site storage capacity of 25,000 TEUs and accommodate the continued growth in regional export traffic anticipated to develop over the next decade.
The Port of Prince Rupert is located at the terminus of CN Rail, which is the only railroad in North America to cross the continent both east-west and north-south.
For this reason, the project will expand the existing container terminal and associated rail components in order to serve the growing needs of the shipping community in Canada and the U.S. mid-west.
Phase I of the container terminal opened on Oct. 31, 2007. Fairview Terminal was constructed in 1972 as a break-bulk cargo facility.
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