Prince Rupert, an Alternative to Roberts Bank Terminal 2
Why is Prince Rupert a better alternative than Roberts Bank?
The first phase of the Prince Rupert Fairview container Port opened in late 2007, with a capacity of 850,000 Containers (TEUs). Its volumes have grown rapidly and in 2017 it handled 926,000 TEUs. Work was completed on the Phase 2 North expansion in 2017 which added another 500 – 600,000 TEU capacity, bringing it up to 1.35 mill. The Phase 2 South expansion is in the planning stage and will start construction in 2019, giving it a capcty of 1.6 mill TEUs in 2020. The expansion will continue and by the mid 2020s the terminal will have a capacity of about 2.5 million TEUs. Further expansion is also being contemplated so that Prince Rupert would be capable of handling up to 4.5 million TEUs in the future.
There is also more capacity coming on stream at three Vancouver area container terminals Add all this up and, with that kind of capacity coming on stream, Canada’s west coast will never be short of container terminal capacity to meet Canada's trading needs. Roberts Bank Container Terminal 2 is simply not needed. This is not a project that makes business or environmental sense.
The Port of Vancouver's own statistics show how this project makes no business sense. The ten year cumulative growth (compound annual growth rate - CAGR) for Vancouver languishes in the 3 percent range. The 2018 year over year growth for all containers (full and empty) in Vancouver is at 3.7 percent, whereas Prince Rupert is running at 12 percent. Clearly the container transportation industry prefers Prince Rupert over Vancouver. Furthermore Vancouver's growth in full containers year over year is a measily 1.4 percent (less than 25,000 growth over 2017). This is why RBT2 is not needed now and never will be.
Why is Prince Rupert a more logical place for a container terminal than Roberts Bank:
- It is two sailing days (one inbound, one outbound) closer to the major exporting countries in the Asia/Pacific, than any of the Port of Vancouver container terminals
- It’s a natural deep sea harbour that requires no dredging, unlike Deltaport and Roberts Bank
- It’s an easier shipping route – straight in via Hecate Straight – unlike the Port of Vancouver terminals, where the ships have to pass through the narrow and already congested Juan de Fuca straight and up through Orca Pass.
- There’s much less of an environmental impact – unlike the proposed Roberts Bank T2 project, that risks destroying the globally significant Roberts Bank ecosystem.
- Excellent transportation infrastructure – CN Rail link already in place – unlike the Port of Vancouver terminals that rely on a rail route through the already congested Fraser Canyon.
- Up to 70 percent of the containers handled by the Port of Vancouver are destined for Eastern Canada and the US. The rail route to these eastern markets from Prince Rupert is significantly shorter than the route from Vancouver.
- Less pollution from dirty, diesel burning trucks, unlike the Port of Vancouver and the proposed T2.
- Less pollution – ship emissions will be lower because the route into port is significantly faster.
- The Prince Rupert community wants the container port – Delta residents are strongly opposed to T2 and adamant that T2 not be built.
- Last but not least a Federal Government study recommended that no further expansion of Vancouver area container terminals take place until the Port of Prince Rupert expansion has been maximized.
Which part of NO does the Port of Vancouver Management not understand?
Make sense? Then tell the politicians.