Ridley Terminals Inc. plans to expand its existing berth to accommodate future growth. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Northern B.C. coal terminal needs to expand to accommodate growth

With coal volumes increasing, Ridley Terminals wants to be able to load two vessels simultaneously

From coal, to liquefied petroleum gas, Ridley Terminals Inc. in northern B.C. wants to expand its existing berth to accommodate future growth.

The plans for the Ridley Terminal Berth Expansion Project were revealed at the District of Port Edward meeting on Tuesday, July 10, by RTI president and chief operating officer Marc Dulude, and corporate affairs manager, Michelle Bryant-Gravelle.

“We’re proposing a terminal expansion to accommodate a second berth south east of the existing berth extension of the dock structure,” Bryant-Gravelle said to council.

This will allow the terminal to be able to load two vessels on the existing trestle at the same time.

“Rational for the project is to handle other bulk commodities to diversify export opportunities and to reduce the commercial risks of handling one product,” Bryant-Gravelle said. “The berth expansion location also preserves future expansion options at the berth.”

Future expansion being that the AltaGas propane export terminal is expected to be ready to ship liquefied natural gas by the first quarter of 2019.

READ MORE: AltaGas ahead of schedule

If the berth expansion project goes ahead it will bring jobs for 20-40 people.

Ridley Terminals has already consulted with First Nations and is moving toward its next step — environmental preparation and evaluation.

The expansion, which will be on federal land, is not a designated project, and will be going under an environmental review under Section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Five federal authorities – Environment and Climate Change Canada, Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, RTI and Prince Rupert Port Authority — will determine whether the project will cause any significant or adverse effects.

Potential effects, as described in the presentation, will be a change in habitat, sensory disturbances, change in air quality, noise and lighting.

“How many more trains will we get from this new dock?” Mayor Dave MacDonald asked.

With increased coal shipments to Ridley Terminals there has been a noticeable increase in train traffic. From January to May, 3.4 million tonnes of coal was shipped from Ridley Island. Dulude said they may be heading toward shipping 9-million tonnes of coal this year.

While Dulude didn’t have a set answer for the mayor, he suggested that they will use longer trains with the same volume of goods coming through Port Edward, rather than several smaller trains.

READ MORE: Vopak investigates terminal development on Ridley Island

“My priority this year was to stabilize our organization and increase the volume and we have been able to achieve that. The next step is we need to focus on how we can do better in terms of performance but also in terms of acting responsibly regarding our neighbours and communities,” he said.

Another concern from council surrounded the dredging that will need to be done to accommodate vessels.

Where exactly the dredge sediment is released has yet to be determined, but in the presentation one option was crossed out on the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s spoil managements area. Another possible option was to dispose the sediment in the ocean, which Port Edward council made a point was not their favourite option.

Dulude said they will take it into consideration but will go with expert opinion on where to dispose the sediment.

With coal volumes increasing, Dulude said: “We’re already working on a plan for additional expansion in the future, assuming we still have support for the community.”

Open houses and a 30-day public consultation period is planned for the fall. If all goes well, RTI hopes the federal authorities will determine the fate of the project by December or January.

READ MORE: Report finds failures in governance at Ridley Terminals

 

shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com 

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Ridley IslandRidley Terminals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sointula elementary school gets funding for new playground

Funding for the new playground comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program.

Facey nominated as BC Liberal candidate for the North Island riding

Liberal candidate Norm Facey has a background in forestry and manufacturing.

Some north Island forest service roads to get a minor facelift with COVID-19 recovery funding

Side Bay access road no longer ‘up in the bureaucratic air’ thanks to temporary budget increase

Port Hardy’s top cop says goodbye, last day will be Oct. 30

‘I want to pause, reflect, and give thanks for my experiences and time given here’

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read