2014 Annual Report
It is the hallmark of thriving economies, and our mission is to make it sustainable, reliable, and safe. This requires innovation in our operations and commitment to our pursuit of excellence, and in 2014 we saw both flourish. The Port of Prince Rupert handled record volumes of containerized cargo and grains, and further diversified its capacity to support Canadian trade with the introduction of new terminals and infrastructure. These lines of business resulted in nearly $390M of gross domestic product, and directly supported 3,060 full-time jobs across northwest British Columbia. Our team is already looking to the challenges ahead, but we hope you’ll enjoy looking back with us on what was a remarkable 2014.
The Prince Rupert Advantage
Prince Rupert has an outsized impact on global trade for a community of 12,000 people. The reasons start with the harbor’s geography. For connecting North America to the Asia Pacific, no other port can match Prince Rupert’s natural advantages.
Prince Rupert is 1-2 days closer to Asia than other West Coast ports. That means less fuel, less risk, and more reliable performance.
Room to grow
Prince Rupert is home to the deepest natural harbour in North America, and among the deepest in the world. Combined with direct access to trans-Pacific shipping lanes, we have room to safely manage growth.
CN’s rail network offers premium reach into North America’s resource economies and consumer markets, on the flattest available grade through the Rockies.
Building on those advantages, the Port of Prince Rupert and its partners have created a track record of excellence in Trade, Community Impact, Safety, and Sustainability.
Building Economic Prosperity
Natural attributes paired with industry-leading efficiency have translated into years of solid performance for Prince Rupert—and the promise for much more in the years to come.
Fairview Container Terminal handled a new record of more than 600,000 TEUs, making the Port of Prince Rupert the fastest-growing intermodal port in North America. The speed and reliability of service provided through Prince Rupert was publicly acknowledged by several of the Port’s customers and shippers in both the media and at major industry events.
Backed by a bumper crop year across Western Canada, the Prince Rupert Grain Terminal shipped 6 million tonnes of wheat and canola, breaking an annual volume record set in 1994. Dozens of international markets for Canadian grains were accessed through the Port of Prince Rupert in 2014, supporting thousands of jobs in Western Canada’s agricultural sector.
The first full-year of operation was concluded for Westview Wood Pellet Terminal, surpassing 500,000 tonnes of biofuel shipped to Europe. As the first purpose-built wood pellet export facility in Canada, Westview supports a value-added component of BC’s forestry sector that directly employs hundreds of British Columbians. The export of wood pellets is also contributing to a transition among European and Asian countries to alternative sources of energy.
The Port of Prince Rupert funded and constructed a new project cargo offload facility on Ridley Island, The new facility is operated by CT Terminals, a joint venture partnership between Coast Tsimshian Enterprises and Tidal Transport. The addition of this ramp-to-rail facility provides a Canadian solution to shippers moving pieces of cargo too large for shipping containers.
A lease agreement between the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Canpotex was signed for a terminal development site on the Ridley Island Industrial Site. The proposed $775 million terminal would provide Saskatchewan’s potash industry with over 12 million tonnes of export capacity once constructed. A primary ingredient in fertilizer, global demand for potash is forecast to increase exponentially with population growth in developing countries.
The largest container ship to ever call at a Canadian west coast port berthed at the Fairview Container Terminal. The 13,000 TEU COSCO Fortune was worked by Maher Terminals and ILWU Local 505 without issue, showcasing the Port of Prince Rupert’s ability to accommodate a new generation of larger ships being introduced to trans-Pacific trade routes.
Our portfolio of terminals handles a variety of cargo, each of which is affected by its own market cycle. Through continued investment in trade infrastructure, the Port of Prince Rupert enables an even greater array of commodities to flow in and out of Canada. This ensures we can remain stable—even grow—year to year, particularly when individual terminals have down years, as the Ridley Coal Terminal did in 2014.
All of this trade strengthens the economic vitality of Canada. From the farming families of the Prairies, to the mining communities of British Columbia, and the transportation networks in between, the Port of Prince Rupert is playing a role in many of Canada’s most crucial industries. Nowhere is this impact greater than the communities in British Columbia’s North.
The Port of Prince Rupert strives to measure and evaluate the impact of its business. A 2014 economic impact study revealed the direct implications of port activity on local economies:
Local community development is an imperative for us too. The people of Prince Rupert and its neighbouring communities are what make our operations possible, and are invaluable partners in our efforts to keep this region healthy and sustainable future generations. Over the last five years, we’ve contributed $1,834,844 to 39 different legacy projects that contribute to an improved quality of life on BC’s North Coast: arts organizations, civic projects, recreational clubs, education initiatives, and more. Here are a few stories from 2014.
Grand opening of the Peter Witherly Community Music Studio
Beautiful music was in the air when the Prince Rupert and Region Music Society officially opened the doors of the new Peter Witherly Community Music Studio. The studio is proving a valuable tool for School District 52 Prince Rupert’s curricular music programs, and also serves as a venue for groups like the Prince Rupert Community Band, Prince Rupert Rotary Choir, Port Simpson Concert Band, youth bands and First Nations performing groups. Among many other local organizations, the Port of Prince Rupert was a major funding partner of the new rehersal space with $250,000 from our Community Investment Fund.
North Pacific Cannery
With the crash of a hammer and driving of nails, the oldest remaining intact salmon cannery on the West Coast of North America began a project to completely restore its original working dock. Under direction of the Port Edward Historical Society, the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site started the final piece of an intensive five-year restoration effort with a budget of $2.3 million dedicated to preserving NPC’s 29 heritage buildings and structures. With a contribution of $200,000 from our Community Investment Fund, the Port of Prince Rupert is helping preserve local heritage and expand guest capacity at the site for tourists and community events.
Prince Rupert Curling Club refurbishment project
Dozens of Prince Rupert residents held a broom on pebbled ice for the first time when members of the Prince Rupert Curling Club hosted an open house for nearly 200 people to celebrate the completion of their refurbishment project. With a contribution of $13,000 from the Port’s Community Investment Fund, the club was able to make a few overdue improvements to the facility. The refurbishment included the installation of new flooring in the lounge, which has encouraged new membership and provided a platform for hosting private events.
Students at Prince Rupert’s Roosevelt Park Community School/École Communautaire Roosevelt Parc were swinging and sliding with renewed enthusiasm following the installation of new playground equipment. Fundraising efforts from Roosevelt’s Parent Advisory Council, along with a BC Community Gaming Grant and $35,000 from our Community Investment Fund, secured the funds necessary for replacement of the school’s 20-year old equipment. With funding in place and the support of school staff, the PAC engaged students to help design the ideal outdoor equipment. The flurry of activity and shrieks of laughter throughout the day are the sounds of success.
Prince Rupert Seafarers’ Centre
The Prince Rupert Seafarers Centre celebrated the fourth annual International Day of the Seafarer with a donation that enhances services provided to hundreds of international seafarers who disembark commercial vessels at the Port of Prince Rupert every year. Providing amenities like a pool table, books, internet and a friendly conversation, the centre and its volunteers are a welcome beacon to those men and women visiting our city, whose work involves long periods of isolation while at sea.
Port Interpretive Centre/Visitor Information Centre
Prince Rupert’s Port Interpretive Centre continued to welcome residents and visitors to explore the products, vessels and vehicles moving through the Port of Prince Rupert, the economic impact of port operations and its trade route, and the people and partners who make it all possible. Following 24 months of successful operation, the Centre also became home to Prince Rupert’s Visitor Information Centre. Partnering with Tourism Prince Rupert and Destination BC, we’re proud to welcome thousands of residents and tourists through our doors each year and provide them with timely information about our community and the industries that drive it.
Community Information Forum
Community understanding and support of port activities is essential to our continued development. We strive to maintain that support by being a trusted and respected partner that is committed to dialogue, collaboration and engagement. One of the ways we do this is through regular meetings of our Community Information Forum, a local stakeholder group that provides a context to share information about the Port’s operations and port development, and tackle issues and challenges in the community. Through the Forum, a variety of opinions and concerns in the community are brought forward and improvements are proposed for our consideration.
Community Investment Fund
Each year the Prince Rupert Port Authority earmarks a share of its income for local projects that contribute to the region’s quality of life and create long-lasting benefits. In combination with funding from other businesses, community groups and government agencies, the Fund enables millions of dollars in local improvement projects to take place every year in the Prince Rupert area. Each of these projects fills an important role in the support of sports, recreation, performing arts, healthcare, education, the environment and other needs in the community.
The Port of Prince Rupert is committed to creating opportunities for future generations to prosper in their own communities. We’re demonstrating this is through the Learning Gateway, which provides educational resources designed to engage students in K to 12 in learning about the port’s role ininternational trade, and the diverse career opportunities it supports. We’re also partnering with local education providers to increase the local programming available for students and residents. Whether that’s promoting literacy through our Read With The Rampage program that brings local hockey heroes into classrooms, or sponsoring the introduction of new skilled trades training, we are dedicated to the continued success of our youth.
Sponsorships and Donations
Every year in Prince Rupert, dozens of events, recreational leagues, conferences,organizations and venues require assistance to deliver their services. The Port of Prince Rupert is proud to be able to annually support a number of worthy causes that require financial aid. Our scholarship and bursary program provides several high school students with funds to pursue careers in trade-related fields. Many recreational teams and clubs require equipment or space to pursue their passions. As a local business, the opportunity be involved with so many projects, programs and people is something we have never taken for granted and will continue to improve upon as the Port grows.
A coordinated effort between the PRPA and its many partners exerts positive control over every vessel, ensuring round-the-clock safeguards. The result has been the evolution of a global reputation for navigational safety. As the number of vessels more than doubles over the next decade, maintaining that reputation continues to be a top priority.
The foundation of our prosperity lies in practices and procedures designed to keep vessels moving safely – and goods flowing securely. Our dedication to safe operations means nonstop teamwork and vigilance, and sees the Port of Prince Rupert connected to a variety of partners at all times. Together, we exert positive control over the Prince Rupert Harbour and ensure round-the-clock safeguards.
SAAM SMIT Towage is responsible for assisting in the safe transit and docking of all commercial vessels that visit the Prince Rupert Harbour. Known as harbor towage, SAAM SMIT’s qualified captains and crew like Roy utilize a fleet of seven tug boats to help maneuver hundreds of large ships each year, working closely with the marine pilots on board to bring them alongside the port’s five deep-sea marine terminals.
Canadian Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services provides a wealth of round-the-clock screening, broadcast and monitoring duties to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessels in Canadian waters. One of only two stations on Canada’s west coast, Prince Rupert staff like Dan provide continuous communication with mariners well beyond the bounds of the Prince Rupert Harbour.
The BC Coast Pilots are an organization of highly experienced and licensed mariners with the sole job of ensuring the thousands of commercial vessels visiting this coast arrive and depart in a safe and secure manner. A marine pilot like Fred boards every commercial vessel entering the Prince Rupert Harbour and advises the ship captains on the safest routing and procedures to bring them to a terminal berth or harbor anchorages.
Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) is a Transport Canada-certified Response Organization, mandated to maintain a state of preparedness to mitigate the impact of marine pollution incidents in BC’s navigable waters. The Port of Prince Rupert is one of three coastal locations where WCMRC maintains office and warehouse facilities, enabling staff like Robert to provide rapid support in the event of a marine pollution incident.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM SAR) is an all-volunteer organization that operates more than 40 marine rescue stations in British Columbia. Like all of the Port of Prince Rupert’s marine safety partners, RCM SAR 64 Prince Rupert volunteers like Marco are on-call 24 hours a day to respond to marine emergencies.
Transport Canada is the regulatory authority responsible for inspecting and certifying all commercial vessels that call on the Port of Prince Rupert. Locally stationed staff like Tejinder regularly board vessels and conduct ship inspections to ensure compliance with the standards set out in the Canada Shipping Act.
The Port of Prince Rupert emphasizes long-term planning, integrating activities and proactively defining and reducing risk. As part of our ongoing commitment to safe and sustainable growth, we are preparing for new terminal developments, growth in vessel traffic and potential new cargoes.
Marine Risk Assessment
In our quest to employ and maintain world-class safety standards, we commissioned a local marine risk assessment through the globally-recognized firm Det Norske Veritas (DNV). DNV used recognized methodology to compare and contrast the safety of the Port of Prince Rupert with other ports worldwide, benchmark navigational risk with a baseline profile, and make recommendations to further reduce and mitigate identified risks. It’s our belief that managing navigational risk and avoiding incidents is the most effective approach to ensuring a safe harbour becomes even safer.
Aids to Navigation
Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), we are introducing new navigational aids in the Prince Rupert Harbour. The addition of a sector light at Philips Point in the Fairview Channel enhances the safety of all vessels and mariners entering and exiting the Prince Rupert Harbour, and is particularly useful to BC Coast Pilots navigating the inner harbour.
Port Information Guide
In a comprehensive review of our operational practices and procedures, the Port of Prince Rupert adopted the International Harbour Masters Association standards to create a new Port Information Guide. The standardized guide provides mariners with a single document to reference for any information they require in advance of and during their time in the Prince Rupert Harbour.
Emergency Management Plan
It’s imperative that we prepare for worst-case scenarios. The Port of Prince Rupert’s recently completed Emergency Management Plan (EMP) outlines the practices, procedures, processes and systems to be employed in the event of an incident that may require the activation of its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The EMP is tested through frequent emergency exercises, reviewed bi-annually and involves a high degree of coordination with other port stakeholders/emergency responders.
One trade we’ll never make: exchanging our future for short-term gain. We are deeply committed to preserving the beauty and integrity of our environment while we maintain competitiveness and facilitate commerce, and deploy several strategies to that end.
The Port of Prince Rupert is building for the long term. As a leader in sustainable practices and planning, minimizing the impact and environmental footprint of port operations is one of our measures of success. Our Gateway 2020 vision outlines a growth strategy that balances the needs of existing port operations, future trade opportunities and the health of marine and foreshore environments within our jurisdiction.
Road, Rail and Utility Corridor
The Port of Prince Rupert is planning for more than $25B in capital investment in the next ten years. A foundational piece of that development was the Road, Rail, & Utility Corridor on the Ridley Island Industrial Site. This eight-kilometre common-use corridor unlocks the potential of 500 hectares of planned and primed development lands for future deep-sea bulk export terminals, maximizes the amount of cargo we can move through a designated export platform, and minimizes the footprint port operations are making on the north coast of BC.
Diversified Port Complex
Our approach to development emphasizes safe, responsible and sustainable growth. We apply this to proposed terminals and facilities, projected increases in vessel traffic, and the potential introduction of new cargoes. This includes participating as a regulatory agency in the environmental assessment process for all projects within our jurisdiction. In the case of projects that involve new cargoes like liquefied natural gas, we’re working closely proponents to define best practices necessary to safely move their vessels and cargoes in and out of the harbour.
In order to accommodate the type of growth currently under investigation within the Port of Prince Rupert, we’re engaging with partners like the City of Prince Rupert and Province of British Columbia to forecast potential economic, employment and social impacts of potential large scale developments. By sharing information and analyses, we’re contributing to a framework that will prepare our region for the opportunities and challenges posed by large construction projects and continued economic growth.
Ensuring diverse and sustainable operations for decades to come involves exploring additional services to support future growth. An example of this is investigating bunkering , which would supply fuels to commercial ships and eliminate the need for some vessels to call at other west coast ports before their trans-Pacific voyage. Similarly, the creation of an off-dock container yard and logistics park, would increase capacity of the Fairview Container Terminal as well as provide shippers with greater flexibility for moving their goods. By investigating the feasibility of these and other services, we’re investing in our competitiveness and reducing our overall carbon footprint.
As we grow, we must do it with an eye on sustainability and environmental protection. We are guided in all of our activities by the key principles of pollution prevention, environmental integrity, efficient use of resources, and continuous improvement. With these in mind, our operations demonstrate respect – for the environment, our neighbours and future generations.
Through a new environmental incentive program for commercial vessels, the Port of Prince Rupert is offering discounted harbour dues to ships that implement emission reduction measures or other environmental practices. In 2014 a total of 148 vessels qualified under the programs three tiered system, meaning 48% of the unique vessels calling on Prince Rupert were able to participate. We continue to refine the program and explore even greater opportunities for shipping companies to benefit from their improved environmental performance.
Air Quality Monitoring
Installation of the first air quality monitoring station in Prince Rupert allows us to measure particulate matter and collect basic weather information, complementing our existing meteorological station. We also partnered with LNG project proponents to establish a wet deposition station, which samples rainfall for concentrations of various ions, like acid rain. The third such station to be established in British Columbia, it will help create a baseline for the airshed in our region, prior to development of new large-scale terminals.
Marine Environmental Water Quality
The Port of Prince Rupert expanded its water quality monitoring program in 2014 to include 28 unique sampling site throughout the harbour. The program monitors levels of nutrients, chlorophyll, metals, hydrocarbons and bacteria. The sites are tested quarterly, and in the summer months are tested bi-weekly. Water Quality Index scores established by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment were ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’ at all sites.
During its first full year of operation in 2014, the Port of Prince Rupert closely monitored noise levels in proximity to Westview Wood Pellet Terminal. Monthly operational noise during daytime hours decreased over 6% between January and December due to the addition of acoustic dampening material to the motors and product transfer system. Mobile monitoring stations were also used to respond to individual noise complaints received through our Community Comment Form.
In partnership with Northwest Community College and the Invasive Tunicate Network’s Plate Watch program, we continued a program that marks the first time invertebrate species have been collected in Prince Rupert and reported to a coastwide network of experts. Through the quarterly monitoring of several sites, PRPA is contributing to an early detection system for tunicates and green crab not previously present in the Northwest Pacific.
Carbon Emissions Inventory
A significant indicator of our environmental footprint is the airborne emissions related to port activities. To date we have completed reports for greenhouse gases, criteria air contaminants and energy consumption for a four year period. Within the port inventory boundary, a total of 85,743 tonnes of CO2 was emitted in 2013, up 19% from 2012. However when comparing emissions intensity (accounting for annual commodity throughput), we’ve improved our performance with a decrease of 13.3% since 2010.
Employing Fiscal Integrity
Sound financial management drives the responsible stewardship of our resources. Each year, the Port of Prince Rupert releases its financial statements. The bottom line? These figures detail our organization’s committment to the sensible and effective use of our assets, year after year.
These are the conditions we’re fighting to create as we steward the incredible natural resource that is the Port of Prince Rupert. Thank you to our local communities, our shippers, supply chain partners, terminal operators, service contractors, and everyone else who made 2014 a success in each of those categories. A special thank you to the women and men on the water, in the terminals, and on the trains and trucks that are moving Canada’s trade through the Port of Prince Rupert. Together, we’re fulfilling the natural promise that Prince Rupert has long offered to Canada and its global trade partners.