Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Major project review has no new items and few changes for Prince Rupert

The Major Projects Inventory, March 2009 review of those Major Projects planned for British Columbia was released yesterday by the Provincial Government. The first quarter examination of potential construction projects and indicator of economic growth by the Provincial Government.
It features some 892 large scale construction projects, valued at an estimated $184.2 billion in investment, but the majority of that construction it seems will take place in other locations than in Prince Rupert.

Pages 109 and 110 of the report feature the items of interest to North Coast residents. Outlining those projects that are on the books for this part of the province, though the list is small and for the most part many of the projects listed are more in the talking phase than the development phase.

Kind of our Field of Dreams list, where if we build them we hope that fortune and economic development will come.

Seven projects are highlighted for Prince Rupert, all of them familiar sounding items, though some have hit their share of problems or setbacks tied to the current global economic troubles or as a result of second thoughts or re-evaluation by their proponents.

From the report we cull the following synopsis items for each project, we’ll outline what we believe the status of each is with items from our Podunkian archives as well.

The Mount McDonald Wind Power Project (Project ID: 2378)

Proposed 250 MW wind farm with 100 to 150 wind turbine generators, will include new infrastructure and roads. Project is in the pre-application phase under the Environmental Assessment. No start or finish time frame is provided, the last update on the project was March 2008.

(No further information on this project has been outlined so far)

North Coast Wind Power Project (Project ID: 2271)

Rupert Peace Power Corporations proposed 300 MW wind power project located near Prince Rupert. Project is registered for BC Hydro 2008 Clean Power Call Request for Proposal (RFP).

(No further information on this project has been outlined so far)

Prince Rupert Potash Terminal Expansion (Project ID: 2223)

Canpotex Ltd. The proposed potash terminal expansion to increase total export capacity by 11 million tonnes/yr. to 23 million tonnes/yr. along with Vancouver
Terminal expansion.

(This recently was put on hold as Canpotex decides whether to build in Prince Rupert as well as expand in Vancouver, next decision date is to be in September, from our archives)

Mount Hays Wind Farm (Project ID: 1803 )

Mount Hays Wind Farm Limited Partnership Proposed wind farm located on Mount Hays on Kaien Island. 25.2 MW capacity generated by 14 wind turbine generators. Project has been selected in the BC Hydro 2006 call for power.

(Most recently the proponents of the project appeared at City Council chambers seeking tax breaks to assist in the development of the project, from our archives)

Atlin Uplands Development (Project ID: 1768)

City of Prince Rupert proposed a waterfront mixed-use development on three lots, with a total of 58,000 sq ft, for hotel and retail/residential projects. Request for Proposals issued by city.

(Little success in the development of this property has taken place since the project was first proposed in 2006, most recently the machinery for pay parking was installed for the lot across from the Atlin Terminal, from our archives)

Tsimshian Peninsula Project/Tuck Inlet Road (Project ID: 479)

Prince Rupert City Original proposal from 1998 was to construct bridges to link Kaien Island, Digby Island and the Tsimshian Peninsula, to connect the City of Prince Rupert with the airport and several native villages.

A memorandum of understanding covering the design process was completed by the Provincial and Federal governments, the City of Prince Rupert and two native bands. A revised proposal, now consisting of a system of road works and ferries, and a bridge, is under review.

A study-phase contract has been awarded to Associated Engineering, to be completed by September 2009.

(The ambitious bridge concept is now but a memory it seems, instead a ferry and bridge, road combination is the latest popular idea in Prince Rupert’s quest for the Holy Grail of infrastructure projects, which of late seems to be relying more on the aspect of connecting Lax Kw’alaams with Prince Rupert and Highway 16, from our archives )

Projects officially on Hold:

Prince Rupert Port Expansion (Project ID: 901)

Prince Rupert Port Authority Expansion of the existing port into a state-of-the-art container terminal. The new terminal, upon full build-out, will occupy 200 acres and be able to handle 2 million TEUs annually.

The first phase, which contains three 120 m high super post-panamax cranes to handle 500,000 TEUs annually, completed Late 2007 at a cost of $170 million.

Phase 2 construction, to increase capacity by 1.5 million TEUs, is estimated at $650 million. Phase 2 is currently undergoing environmental assessment and is expected to commence in Late 2010

(The Port expansion as outlined has been set back about eighteen months due to the economic troubles of our times, the preliminary work is set to get underway after the environmental assessment is completed, that assessment is currently underway, from our archives)

Of the North coast communities examined, Kitimat and Stewart seem to have the bulk of the major projects proposed, whether it involved the Alcan expansion plans, to port and terminal development in Kitimat or a number of mining projects planned for Stewart and north of Terrace.

Though we suspect, like the Rupert projects a good many of them may remain in the proposed category for a while yet.

The full report can be found at the Government of BC website, under the Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development.
A copy of it can be found at this link (click on the report cover), where you can download all 132 pages for further study.

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