The federal government is investing nearly $75 million to increase capacity at a coal export terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert, the transport minister announced Wednesday.
The funding will go toward building a second berth at Trigon Pacific Terminals on B.C.’s northwest coast. With Trigon’s contribution, the total investment in the project would be $163.1 million.
“The Port of Prince Rupert helps keep our economy connected to key global markets,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra at the Wednesday announcement.
“Once complete, this project will reduce congestion at the port and allow Trigon Pacific to increase trade with our partners overseas.”
The expansion will also allow the terminal to export renewable forms of energy, according to a news release from Transport Canada. The terminal currently exports coal and liquid propane.
In a separate news release, Trigon said the second berth is “designed specifically to enable a shift over time towards handling green energy exports, such as hydrogen-based fuels.”
The company says the expansion will help facilitate deals between exporters in Western Canada and the Asia-Pacific region.
CEO Rob Booker says the terminal may also be used to export wood pellets and mineral concentrates.
He adds that while Trigon will continue to export metallurgical coal, diversifying to other forms of energy is an important step.
“Accelerating that transition away from purely coal is an obvious thing given that the world is moving away from thermal coal,” said Booker.
The funding comes from the $4.6-billion National Trade Corridors Fund, a program dedicated to investment in transportation assets that support economic activity in Canada.
Booker says construction for the project will begin immediately, and expects the berth will be operating by late 2026 or early 2027.
“It’s a very exciting day for us … it already feels incredible to be participating in the energy transition.”