Saturday, October 10, 2009

Major projects for Rupert at the mercy of the recession

“You're not going to roll out [major] new terminal capacity until there's more of a market balance,”-- Jon Somers, vice-president of planning and development at Saskatoon-based Canpotex, outlining the company thinking on plans for expansion in recessionary times.

Two of Prince Rupert's most promising industrial developments were mentioned in the Globe and Mail on Friday, as Globe reporters David Ebner and Brent Jang, examined the impact that the current recession is having on Canada's trade and transportation sectors.

From the airline industry to the oil, mineral resource and forestry sectors, through to transportation the current Great Recession is playing havoc with long term planning and knocking forecasted levels off far more than expected.

Of particular interest to Prince Rupert residents was the focus on transportation, both from the thoughts on the planned phase two expansion of the Fairview Terminal and Canpotex's plans for a shipment terminal either in Prince Rupert or Vancouver.

In the article, the current through put at Fairview was described as working a half capacity, while the planned 650 million dollar phase two expansion at Fairview is considered as being in "limbo" at the moment.

While the shipping companies deal with overcapacity situation, adding to the problems is the expansion of the Delta port which will add much more in the way of capacity at a time when it may not quite be needed, which could impact on development plans in Prince Rupert in the short term.

The Canpotex terminal options were reviewed in the article as well, described as going back to the planning stages while the company decides how best to approach the collapse of the potash market, leaving it to decide on whether to go ahead with an expansion in Vancouver or build a new terminal at Ridley Island.

For those hoping that the recent declarations that the recession is over may bring relief, the tone of the article was one that suggests that the recovery period may be longer than anticipated and with it a slow and gradual return to the levels enjoyed before last Octobers crash.

No comments: