Thursday, July 03, 2008

In Hong Kong, Kevin Falcon outlines transportation and Prince Rupert Port plans

According to an Asian shipping industry trade paper, Seatrade Asia Online, there are moves in the works to dramatically expand the Rupert container port.

In an article dated July 3rd, the on line edition claims that the province of BC is set to dedicate 15 billion dollars to expand the Port of Prince Rupert, in a bid to become the preferred gateway to the Pacific between North America and Asia.

The article outlines how a Danish shipping conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk Group has been selected as the preferred bidder for the job to invest 650 million into the expansion plan for the facility. The estimated time of development is 2012 when the throughput will quadruple the ports capacity.

Falcon recently concluded a two week trip to Asia to highlight among many issues, the opportunities available in British Columbia for those wishing to ship their goods through the ports of the Pacific Gateway.
While his Ministerial website promised much in the way of details of his trip with frequent reports and photos to accompany his visit, little of actual newsworthiness seems to have been posted there in recent weeks.

The story as reported by the Asian trade paper makes for an interesting development, in that the expansion plans seem to be moving ahead quickly, while locally there has been little heard on the subject in the last few months.

What remains to be seen is whether these details as reported from an international trade newspaper turn out to be correct and a blue print of sorts, or if they were just an outline from the Minister, of what could one day come on the horizon for the Rupert port.

There is no mention of the pending project developments on the BC Transportation Ministry website or on the Port of Prince Rupert website.

As always, those of us on the shoreline wait for further details, hopefully not to have the first word of developments come from the trade papers of the world...

Targeting Asian traffic, Prince Rupert expands
Seatrade Asia Online
July 3, 2008

Vancouver: The Canadian province of British Columbia is spending C$15 billion (HK$114.74 billion) to expand its Prince Rupert port facilities in a bid to become the preferred Pacific gateway for ships travelling between Asia and North America, reports the South China Morning Post.

Using Prince Rupert can trim two days off the 12-day trip for a ship sailing from Shanghai to Long Beach. That, together with a fast and efficient rail network across the continent to Chicago, offers quicker delivery than United States ports, the British Columbia government says.

"The all-in transport time is unmatched by ports on the west coast, even the ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles," the province's Transport Minister Kelvin Falcon said. Mr Falcon was in Hong Kong last week to meet shipping companies and the Airport Authority to tell them about the expansion of airport, port, road and railway infrastructure in British Columbia.

Danish shipping conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk Group had been picked as the preferred bidder by the provincial government to invest in a C$650 million expansion plan in Prince Rupert, the minister said.

The new facility will quadruple the port's capacity to two million 20-foot equivalent units when it opens in 2012.

In the next two to three years, British Columbia is also planning a C$1.2 billion new terminal in Prince Rupert, which will double the capacity of the whole port area to more than four million teu by 2020.Currently Cosco is the port's main customer. [3/7/08]

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