Sunday, June 13, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, June 11, 2010)

A Much respected Rupertite passes away, Carole James comes to town and Third Avenue West Merchants take charge of their own area improvements, some of the items of interest from Friday's news files.

Daily News, front page, headline story
WILLOW CREEK COAL MINE GOOD NEWS FOR RIDLEY TERMINALS -- The reopening of the Willow Creek coal mine bodes well for shipment levels at Prince Rupert's Ridley Terminals.

Carole James works her way towards Prince Rupert to take part in Seafest activities and offers up some of the issues that she is concerned about these days from her spot on the Opposition benches in Victoria.

Feeling neglected (and not very happy about it) by City Hall, merchants on the western end of Third Avenue West have taken the initiative to beautify their own surroundings, though they are still concerned about the attitude of civic officials to their plight.

The sports section features reviews of the athletic achievements at both CHSS and PRSS this past school year.

(Daily News Archive for Friday, June 12, 2010)

Willow Creek coal mine good news for Ridley Terminals
An interview with Carole James
Local enforcement get their man 
Hanging baskets will grace the end of Third Avenue 
Play by former Rupertite comes to Prince Rupert

The Northern View
Credit union head passes away -- The Northern View offers up a rather short synposis on the passing of Credit Union CEO Mike Tarr (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Seafest Celebrations Get Underway -- CFTK offers up a note or two on this weekend's Seafest celebrations (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Fire Burning Near Terrace Airport -- Some anxious moments and lots of smoke in Terrace as a fire breaks out in lands south of the Terrace airport (see article here) (CFTK's Kathy Brooks had this video report on the fire situation )

CBC News Northern BC, Daybreak North
Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now.

The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here

Daily News, front page, headline story
Willow Creek coal mine good news for Ridley Terminals 
By Monica Lamb-Yorski 
Staff Writer 
Prince Rupert Daily News
Friday, June 11, 2010

 Last week’s re-opening of Western Coal’s Willow Creek metallurgical coal mine, located 45 km southwest of Chetwynd, will add wind to the sails of Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert.

 “Generally speaking, the mining sector in Western Canada continues to be in growth mode including coal and base metals,” Ridley Terminals Chair Bud Smith told the Daily News. 

Coal exports are growing, he added, and the re-opening of Willow Creek is important because the amount of product going through Ridley will increase. That increase in density comes at a time when Ridley is forecasting its record year since it opened in 1984.

 “Our volumes are up,” Smith said.

 In 2009, 4.2 million metric tonnes were shipped through Ridley. At the end of May, 3.3 million metric tonnes have already been shipped.

 “We’re on track to surpass our record year of 6.9 million tonnes and are well on track to ship more than 7 million tonnes.”

 The increase, he explained, is due to expanding the customer base. Regular customers are using Ridley more consistently and some, like Western Coal, are expanding their own production.

 “Yes, the Willow Creek opening is good news for Prince Rupert.”

According to Smith, the most important thing for the people of Prince Rupert, himself included, is to understand the significant role Ridley Terminals plays in creating jobs for the community.

 “There are significant economic benefits for the city and it is important that we are tied to our great and growing Western Canadian energy corridor and aware that it has direct impact on our economy. We cannot think of our selves as a stand-alone entity or a silo. We have the ability to export to the world.”

 Reporter Gerry Amos of The Tumbler Ridge News, reporting on the re-opening of Willow Creek on June 4, quoted Western Coal CEO and President Keith Calder saying controlling costs will still be critical, and Western Coal continues to lobby for a Prince Rupert coal terminal to remain as a Crown corporation.

 “Our position, and the Ridley Terminals User Group position, is that the port facilities were established to develop northeast and north central B.C., and a major part of that is the coal industry,” Calder said. “We do not want it to be privatized.”

Responding to the comments, Smith suggested Ridley’s possible privatization has always been a red herring.

“It is true that Ridley was developed as part of the northeast development, but today does much more. It services product from Fort McMurray, Hinton and wood pellets from along the corridor in B.C.”

What everyone wants, he added, is open access and that is a fundamental guiding principle of everything that is being done at Ridley Terminals.

“Whoever owns the terminals, government or whomever, no single company could just have the port. I dare say it will always be a terminal that provides open access to all the coal mines in Northern B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.”

In addition to coal and wood pellet exports, Smith confirmed Ridley Terminals continues to explore the possibility of accessing the liquid tanks and pipeline on Ridley Island that were constructed by a private company for the export of sulphur in liquid form, but never utilized.

 “We’re actively negotiating with two parties and less actively with a third to make use of those good assets for import and export of bulk liquid products. I’m confident we will find a use for them in 2010,” Smith said.

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