Printer-friendly version   

The Best Place on Earth


For Immediate Release

Nov. 7, 2010

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure





HONG KONG, CHINA – The demand for steel-making coal in Asia is growing and British Columbia is uniquely positioned to substantially increase its share of the market. That is the message delivered in South Korea and Japan to key coal industry stakeholders by Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Shirley Bond and Pacific Gateway partners. Bond is leading a trade mission in Asia to promote the Pacific Gateway and generate new and expanded trade opportunities for B.C.


            “The quality of B.C.’s coal, a competitive tax system, and significant infrastructure expansion at ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert are all working in our favour,” said Bond. “We can actually see a point when coal exports from B.C. could double and that would mean tremendous rewards for our provincial economy.”


The Pacific Gateway alliance met with five companies in Korea and Japan who invest in coal mines and are interested in expansion of coal exports to their respective countries. The key drivers of coal expansion as expressed by the companies include:

·         B.C.’s high-quality metallurgical coal. This provides companies an opportunity to diversify their source of input to the steel-making industry.

·         Efficient infrastructure capacity expanded. B.C. can easily increase its volume of coal exports.

·         Competitive taxes. Unlike other jurisdictions where governments have raised taxes when commodity prices and production increase, that is not the case in B.C.

·         Accommodation of largest ships: To be cost effective, efficient and environmentally friendly, companies are moving to the use of capesize vessels for coal, and B.C. ports are among a small number that can accommodate these larger vessels.


“A competitive investment climate along with high prices for steel-making coal have led to expanded output in the East Kootenay's Elk Valley and the opening of five new coal mines in Northeast B.C.,” said Minister of State for Mining Randy Hawes. “These new mining opportunities mean increased coal sales, which benefit all British Columbians.”


Future expansion is occurring at the Vancouver and Prince Rupert port terminals to provide capacity for future growth. In Vancouver, Westshore Terminals is investing $49 million to help increase capacity and Neptune Bulk Terminals is investing $51 million.


In Prince Rupert, Ridley Terminals is investigating a number of infrastructure enhancements to increase terminal throughput and has the option of expanding the facility to increase capacity in the coming years.


“Port Metro Vancouver will handle around 80 per cent of Canada's coal exports through the Pacific Gateway in 2010," said Robin Silvester, president and CEO, Port Metro Vancouver. "Canada's largest and busiest port continues to build capacity that accommodates growth and delivers economic empowerment for our nation.”


“The message coming from our meetings is that Asia is anxious to secure new and expanding sources of coal and British Columbia is of particular interest to them because of our well-developed transportation infrastructure that has been made possible by the Pacific Gateway strategy,” said Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “This is a great opportunity for the northern corridor through the Port of Prince Rupert because of the abundance of coal resources in the area as well as the available rail capacity and potential expansion of terminal handling capacity.”


Coal volumes in 2010 are forecasted to reach record-breaking volumes at both Port Metro Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert. Port Metro Vancouver’s coal volume is expected to surpass the port’s previous record of 28.5 million metric tonnes, recorded in 1997. In Prince Rupert, 2010 coal volume through the Ridley Terminals facility is currently up 83 per cent over this time last year and is forecasted to reach over seven million tonnes by the end of the year.


Additionally in Vancouver, the two senior levels of government and the private sector are investing over $750 million in infrastructure that will improve rail efficiency and add capacity for coal and other export bulk commodities.

Bond and officials from Pacific Gateway partners Port Metro Vancouver, Port of Prince Rupert, CN, Canadian Pacific, Vancouver International Airport and BNSF are in Asia on a trade mission that will strengthen relationships and secure the Pacific Gateway’s position as the preferred gateway for Asian exporters.


For more information, audio clips and photos about the Asia trade mission and the Pacific Gateway visit:


To view and download photos of Bond’s Pacific Gateway Asia Trade Mission visit:


To follow Bond on Twitter and learn more about her trip go to – the hashtag for the Asia Trade mission is #cpg10.





Jeff Knight

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

250 356-7707



For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at