The Port of Prince Rupert announced Sept. 14 that it has signed a feasibility assessment agreement with Seattle-based marine and rail terminal operator SSA Marine and its subsidiary, Western Stevedoring, to explore the viability of a breakbulk and bulk import/export terminal at the port.
The feasibility assessment agreement gives SSA Marine/Western Stevedoring the opportunity to further identify the viability of demand in the market. An environmental assessment of the site would be required if the feasibility assessment substantiates the terminal’s potential.
The south shore of Kaien Island has been identified as a suitable site for an 80-hectare terminal development, near existing bulk terminals on Ridley Island.
“Ongoing cargo diversification is one of the highest priorities for the Port of Prince Rupert, and the potential for the return of breakbulk and general cargoes capacity to the Port of Prince Rupert represents a clear response to growing market demand in Western Canada,” Port of Prince Rupert President & CEO Don Krusel said in the announcement. “We are pleased to be working with SSA Marine and Western Stevedoring.”
The port hasn’t had a breakbulk and general cargoes facility since the conversion of Fairview Terminal to a container terminal in 2007. Establishing a new breakbulk and bulk terminal could restore capacity for handling the types of goods and modes of transport the Prince Rupert says is being requested by US, Canadian and regional shippers.
In addition to increasing cargo diversity, the addition of a breakbulk and bulk terminal could provide capacity for breakbulk forest products, steel, project cargo, bulk specialty agricultural products, bulk mineral concentrates and automobiles.
Port officials have also said the terminal project might give Canadian exporters and importers flexibility in shipping mode to complement Prince Rupert’s container and bulk terminals.
A new breakbulk and bulk terminal would benefit from key strengths, such as the port’s safe harbor and proximity to Asian markets, according to Western Stevedoring President Brad Eshleman.
“We are excited at the prospect of building on – and expanding – that success,” he said.