Amidst talk of sale, Ridley Terminals celebrate record year

Trent Ernst, Editor
The numbers are in, and Ridley Terminals has had a banner year. 
On December 13, the Government of Canada announced that Ridley Terminals was being put up for sale. The plan, says the government, is to find a private sector owner to operate the terminal. 
The asking price just might be higher than planned, though, after the terminals 2012 numbers were announced. 
Ridley Terminals broke the record the company set in 2011, shipping 11.5 million tonnes of mostly coal in 2012. That number is less than 500,000 tonnes short of the terminal’s 12 million tonne capacity, and up nearly 20 percent over the previous year. 
Work is underway to double capacity to 24 million tonnes, a project that is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
In 2011, two dumper barrels were installed late in the year, adding capacity for the first time since 1983. Last year, the environmental assessment work began in preparation for the new expansion. The EA permit is expected sometime early next month. 
Work should also be soon underway on the Ridley Island Road, Rail, and Utility Corridor, a $90 million project that will loop the island.
The project will cost approximately $200 million and is funded entirely by revenue from operations. The project is expected to require an approximate total of 690,000 person hours, or 350 person years, during the construction period. 
Currently Ridley Terminals employs 131 people at the terminal.  Ridley Terminals has added 19 permanent full-time positions since August 2011, and more positions will be added as capacity continues to increase through 2014.
“RTI’s federal government mandate to operate in a commercial manner, embraced by our workers, has lifted productivity; made us profitable; and enabled a Benefits Agreement with First Nations. This expansion stage is a major positive result from those changes.” noted RTI Chair Bud Smith.