Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Province trumpets Major Projects Review as reaching an all time high

The Province of British Columbia is showcasing the  latest review of the Major Projects currently under construction or in the planning phase, a process which it is suggested is highlighting the strong investor confidence in British Columbia.

In a press release put forward on Tuesday the volume of projects highlighted in the report inventory was listed at a record 516 items, the value of the projects planned or underway is estimated to be $187 billion, just two billion short of the all time high of 189 billion.

The report on the inventory of projects is 136 pages, and seems to provide for a rather busy timetable for many portions of the province, with a wide variety of projects and employment generating possibilities currently underway or in the works.

However, for Prince Rupert, the feeling of the boom times to come may seem a little more distant than those of our fellow residents of British Columbia, with more than a few of our potential projects not only rather familiar, but more projection than actual development fact.

There were only eight major projects listed for the Prince Rupert region, with wind power projects accounting for four of them, some of which seem closer to reality than others.

Also listed in the inventory, a Potash Terminal that may or may not be developed, identified as proposed to start in 2010, a prospect that seems a long shot at the moment.

Likewise the development of the Atlin uplands site,  is still listed in the review and is still undeveloped, the original entry of 2006 proposed a wide mix of land usage options from hotels to commercial and residential, so far all that has been developed is a paved parking lot.

The Tsimshian Peninsula Project/Tuck Inlet Road project is also listed as an ongoing concern, a project that first was listed back in 1998, twelve years later, there is little more than studies to show for that particular review.

The Port expansion project is also listed as on the books, and of the bunch it would seem to be the most likely to eventually come to pass and provide for a major boost to local fortunes.

Though it's forward momentum will be dependent on world economic conditions and the desire of all stake holders to invest the 650 million dollars to make it come to pass. At the momemnt the project is still in the environmental review stage with no detailed timetable for development provided yet.

The announcement of the various projects on the books for BC was featured in Tuesday's Vancouver Sun.

The lack of major projects for this region is indicative of our economic fortunes of late, feeling as though we've been left behind by other parts of the province. As if to reinforce that feeling, with the exception of one project in Stewart, the North coast region wasn't even mentioned in the March 9th press release.

If the region is hopeful of returning to better times, that Major Project Review listing is going to have to grow by a large number of entries more, and a few of them will have to have nearing completion added onto the description.

A synopsis of the Rupert review items from the report can be found below, the full report can be examined from the provincial government's Stats BC website.

Mount McDonald Wind Project
Rupert Peace Power Corporation Ph: (604) 306-5015
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 Act. Website:
Status: Proposed Start: ?
Est. Cost ($ million): 525 Finish: ?
First Entry: Mar 2009 Last Update: Dec 2009
Project ID: 2378

North Coast Wind Power Project
Rupert Peace Power Corp. Ph: (604) 306-5015
Proposed 300 MW wind power project located near Prince Rupert. Project
is registered for BC Hydro 2008 Clean Power Call Request for Proposal
Status: Proposed Start: ?
Est. Cost ($ million): 900 Finish: ?
First Entry: Sep 2008 Last Update: Dec 2009
Project ID: 2271

Prince Rupert Potash Terminal Expansion
Canpotex Ltd. Ph: (250) 627-8899 (Port of Prince Rupert)
Proposed potash terminal expansion to increase total export capacity by
11 million tonnes/yr. to 23 million tonnes/yr. along with Vancouver
terminal expansion (ID #2224).
Status: Proposed Start: 2010
Est. Cost ($ million): 300 Finish: 2012
First Entry: Jun 2008 Last Update: Sep 2009
Project ID: 2223

Banks Island North Wind Energy Project
Katabatic Power Corp./North Coast Wind Energy Corporation
Ph: (415) 931-6236
Proposed 700 MW wind energy project consisting of 234 wind turbines
and transmission line that would link to the BCTC grid. Project is in the
pre-application phase under the Environmental Assessment Act.
Status: Proposed Start: ?
Est. Cost ($ million): 1400 Finish: ?
First Entry: Jun 2007 Last Update: Dec 2009
Project ID: 1982

Mount Hays Wind Farm
Mount Hays Wind Farm Limited Partnership Ph: (604) 761-4864
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. Project is registered under
the federal ecoENERGY for Renewable Power program.
Status: Proposed Start: Spring 2010
Est. Cost ($ million): 50 Finish: Nov 2010
First Entry: Sep 2006 Last Update: Dec 2009
Project ID: 1803

Atlin Uplands Development
City of Prince Rupert Ph: (250) 627-5138
Proposed 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.
Status: Proposed Start: 2010
Est. Cost ($ million): 15 Finish: 2012
First Entry: Jun 2006 Last Update: Dec 2009
Project ID: 1768

Tsimshian Peninsula Project/Tuck Inlet Road
Prince Rupert City Ph: (250) 627-0963
Original proposal 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.
Status: Proposed Start: ?
Est. Cost ($ million): 72 Finish: ?
First Entry: Sep 1998 Last Update: Dec 2009
Project ID: 479

Prince Rupert Port Expansion
Prince Rupert Port Authority Ph: (250) 627-8899
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 $650 million. Phase
2 is currently undergoing environmental assessment and is expected to
commence in 2012. Website:
Status: Construction started Start: Spring 2006
Est. Cost ($ million): 820 Finish: Fall 2013
First Entry: Mar 2003 Last Update: Jun 2009
Project ID: 901

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