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Indian tribe pacts will help Prince Rupert port expand container terminal


The Canadian government recently reached agreements with several Indian tribes concerning expansion plans for the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. The pacts with the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nation tribes, and Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla Indian bands will enable the government to fund another phase of work at the port.

In addition, the Prince Rupert Port Authority finalized an agreement with the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla bands that formalizes a settlement for current container terminal development and sets a consultation framework for future terminal expansion, including the proposed second phase of the Fairview Container Terminal, a proposed second terminal and related container-shipping infrastructure.

The port authority/Indian bands agreement provides the tribes financial payments associated with impacts arising from the construction and operation of the Fairview Container Terminal on their traditional land usage; employment opportunities during both the construction and operation phases, and preferred contracting opportunities associated with the container terminal development and port operations. The port authority previously reached agreements with the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nation tribes.

Completed in 2007, the Fairview terminal’s $170 million first phase was developed through a partnership between the government, port authority, province of British Columbia, Maher Terminals of Canada and CN. The terminal currently can handle 700,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, but volume continues to grow steadily, according to the port authority. A future expansion would increase annual terminal capacity to more than 2 million TEUs.

The government provided $30 million for the container terminal’s first phase and now will plans to allocate $28 million for the development of a container-screening program designed to help secure the terminal’s border services. Canada’s second-largest West Coast port, the Port of Prince Rupert features coal and grain terminals, an intermodal container terminal and two cruise ship terminals.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/15/2011