Sunday, January 20, 2008

Port success proves to be positive headline

The Daily News made the weekend reading an upbeat experience as they reviewed the numbers put out by the Port of Prince Rupert earlier this week.

The recitation of facts and figures was found as the headline story in Friday's paper.

By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Friday, January 18, 2008

Pages one and three

The Port of Prince Rupert continued its impressive annual growth in shipment volumes, surpassing 10 million tonnes in 2007 for the first time in a decade.

The 2007 total volume cargo of 10.6 million tonnes is a 36.8 per cent increase over 2006 and a 237 per cent jump compared to 2005.

Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said growing global demand for industrial fuels including coal and petroleum coke, continued strong markets for agricultural products, the start-up of new lines of business including containers and wood pellets, and competitive advantages of shipping through Prince Rupert were all contributing factors to the port's exceptional 2007 performance.

"While 2007 represents a significant milestone and turning point for the Port of Prince Rupert on a number of fronts, Ridley Terminals and Prince Rupert Grain continue to lead the way," said Krusel. "Both terminals continue to elevate their performances and, combined with the opening of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal and start-up of other operations such as wood pellets, have positioned us for strong growth in 2008 and beyond."

Ridley Terminals' (RTI) throughput of 5.09 million tonnes was an increase of 80.7 per cent on 2006 and 500 per cent increase over 2005.

RTI also began shipping coking coal from Alberta as well as wood pellets from Houston, B.C., through its newly-constructed facility to world markets as a biodegradable fuel and a coal substitute. Prince Rupert Grain (PRG), recognized as one of the most productive North American grain terminals, achieved in excess of five million tonnes of throughput in 2007 for the first time since 1994 and for only the fourth time since the facility was built in 1984. Shipments were up 7.6 per cent compared to 2006, and 87 per cent higher compared to 2005.

The arrival of the first container ship from COSCO on Oct. 31 at the recently-completed Prince Rupert Container Terminal, the first dedicated intermodal container facility in North America, marked the opening of a new Asia-North America express trade corridor and heralded a new era for the Port of Prince Rupert.

COSCO's weekly service moved 16,703 TEUs through the facility during the first two months of operation in 2007.

"Overall, the Prince Rupert Port Authority exceeded its throughput targets for 2007 while completing the ambitious container terminal project on time and on budget," said Dale MacLean, chair of the Prince Rupert Port Authority's board of directors. "Our focus now is to achieve full utilization of the 500,000 TEU facility and complete the groundwork to begin the construction of Phase 2 of the Prince Rupert Container Terminal by early 2009."

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