Ridley Terminals Inc. in Prince Rupert, B.C., is up for sale in the fall. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Federal government to sell B.C. coal terminal

Transport Canada has announced its divesting from federally-owned Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert

The federal government is looking to sell its coal terminal, Ridley Terminals Inc., to a private sector owner.

The coal terminal in Prince Rupert is a Crown corporation within Transport Canada’s portfolio and has been performing well in the past year. Total revenues were $178-million in 2017, up 192.5 per cent from the previous years.

As of the end of the June, the terminal had shipped 4.4 million tonnes of product, up 26 per cent from the same time last year. In July, RTI revealed expansion plans to its existing berth with public consultations this fall.

On Aug. 9, the government announced that it has been engaging with six First Nations from the region to discuss the competitive sale process set for the fall.

“The government of Canada recognizes the importance of Ridley Terminals Inc. to the local and regional economies. By consulting early on with Indigenous communities on the future of Ridley, we are reiterating our commitment to advance reconciliation and to renew the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Ridley Terminals Inc.’s divestiture is expected to support continued high quality terminal operations that are economically sustainable and that maximize value for Canadians,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, in the press release.

This isn’t the first time Ridley Terminals has been up for sale.

READ MORE: Report finds failures in governance at Ridley Terminals

The auditor general released a report on RTI in April finding failures in governance that included confusion over the sale of the terminal. The Crown corporation had been up for sale previously but after no buyers officials at the terminal were informed the sale status was on hold. The Department of Transport told the auditor general that RTI was no longer for sale but “did not formally confirm this with the corporation.”

“In our view, until the corporation has full knowledge as to whether it is going to be sold, it cannot set its long-term strategic direction with any certainty,” the report stated.

In response, the Department of Transport said it would “clearly inform” RTI on the status of sale, and any key developments. Three months later, the government made the intention of selling the corporation public.

The Canada Development Investment Corporation, a Crown corporation under the Minister of Finance, will manage the sale process.

Since 1983, Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) has been mostly involved in the export of coal and petroleum coke. Last year, the corporation included AltaGas Ltd.’s propane export terminal as a move to diversify.

The terminal will be sold ‘as is’ to a private buyer, with all the assets for rail car unloading and loading onto vessels at the marine terminal included. However, the land, which is leased by the Prince Rupert Port Authority to RTI, will not change ownership after the sale.

RELATED: Equality and more jobs in coal terminal’s future



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

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