New funding boosts Prince Rupert expansion plans

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by Emily Atkins

Prince Rupert’s Trigon Pacific Terminals Limited (Trigon) is in line for a $75-million award from the federal National Trade Corridors Fund to build a major expansion.

The funding will support the construction of a second berth at the Port of Prince Rupert terminal. This second berth will help reduce congestion, and increase the port’s capacity to export products for green energy and other clean commodities.

“With this federal support, we’ll be able to accelerate the construction of the second berth at our terminal – the $163-million B2BC or Berth 2 Beyond Carbon project,” said Trigon president and CEO Rob Booker. “This project will make Trigon an even more valuable connection point between Western Canadian exporters and rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific green-energy market opportunities.”

B2BC is a keystone of Trigon’s diversification strategy, and will help enable accelerated energy transformation in Canada and globally, Booker said. The second berth has been designed specifically to enable a shift over time towards handling green energy exports, such as hydrogen-based fuels.

Close to double capacity

The B2BC project will increase Trigon’s throughput capacity from 18.5 million tonnes to an estimated 33.5 million tonnes annually. It will also reduce wait times for vessels by improving the configuration and efficiency of existing berthing infrastructure, and will better leverage the CN northern rail corridor that serves the terminal – contributing to improved supply chain stability.

B2BC is fully permitted with construction getting underway this fall and the first product “over the dock” targeted for 2026.

Trigon’s existing berth is purpose-built to handle steelmaking and thermal coal and petroleum coke. Construction of B2BC will enable continued operation of the terminal, and employment of its workforce, while providing a dedicated platform for alternative and clean energy exports.

Renewable fuels

The berth has been designed for multiple commodities including hydrogen-as-ammonia, renewable and bio-fuels, methanol/ethanol or additional liquefied petroleum gas, and potentially hydrogen itself.

It will also create capacity at the existing berth for wood pellets and biomass handling, and potentially other bulk exports such as grain, potash and mineral concentrates (including copper, which is integral to electrification). Trigon’s site encompasses ample space for the development of land-side storage and handling areas that may be required.

Hydrogen production, shipping and use – for purposes such as electricity generation and fueling transportation – is increasingly seen as a crucial element of decarbonization strategies. Canada has significant expertise and production potential relating to both blue hydrogen, using natural gas combined with carbon capture technologies; and green hydrogen, produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable energy sources.

Trigon has been involved in extensive exploration in recent months of hydrogen-as-ammonia export opportunities, including well-advanced discussions with potential Western Canadian producers and Asian buyers, as well as with other key supply chain partners. Early-stage commercial agreements are in place between Trigon and multiple potential business partners with an interest in the production and shipment of ammonia.

Canada has the potential to be a major player in global hydrogen markets, but we need to move quickly to capitalize on this incredible opportunity,” says Booker. “This federal support will help ensure we will have the export infrastructure needed to secure early-mover advantage. And that in turn will position us to fully leverage emerging competitive advantages such as those in the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB.”