CN, Maher Terminals of Canada Corporation, Prince Rupert Port Authority announce plans to launch new container terminal in Q1 2007

by Canadian Shipper

PRINCE RUPERT, BC- With $60 million in funding for the new Port of Prince Rupert container terminal now secured from the Canadian and British Columbia governments, CN, Maher Terminals of Canada Corporation and the Prince Rupert Port Authority have now announced plans to make the new terminal a reality in the first quarter of 2007.

CN says it has obtained approval from its board of directors to increase its financial contribution to the terminal to $30 million from $15 million. Of the $30 million total, $15 million will be spent on the intermodal yard at the port, $10 million on terminal trackage, and $5 million on infrastructure improvements to CN’s B.C. North line so that it can accommodate double-stack container cars.

“CN is excited with the progress being made toward launching the Prince Rupert container terminal in the first quarter of 2007. CN will be ready. It has the capacity, service and transit times to make Prince Rupert a true success. CN’s network will offer fast access from Prince Rupert to the key markets of Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Memphis," said E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of CN.

Maher Terminals of Canada Corporation has completed plans to proceed with a request for proposals in May 2005 for the acquisition and installation of three large container cranes at the terminal, together with supporting container handling equipment and technology, at a cost of approximately $60 million.

“We’re forging ahead with our crane order and operating plan to be ready with our partners to start handling containerized goods through the port in the first quarter of 2007. Congestion at major ports along the west coast of North America remains a significant issue, and dialogue with the international steamship and shipping community indicates a real interest in using the Port of Prince Rupert for container traffic. We have a clear window of opportunity to put Prince Rupert on the world map," said Brian Maher, chairman and chief executive officer of Maher Terminals of Canada Corporation.

The Port of Prince Rupert, meanwhile, is completing bank financing for its $25-million contribution to the container terminal development.

Phase 1 of the terminal development is expected to provide initial throughput capacity of 500,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent containers) per year.

Don Krusel, president and chief executive officer of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said “The opening of this new terminal will not only bolster Canada’s international trading ability, but also create a new North American gateway for goods moving between Asia and the principal markets of Canada and the United States. This development will also deliver solid economic benefits to Prince Rupert and Northern British Columbia – Phase 1 of the project alone is expected to generate nearly 500 direct and indirect jobs.”

Phase 1 of the terminal project is part of a broader plan to build a facility capable of handling 2 million TEUs per year.

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