PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Rio Tinto and energy provider LNG Canada have opened a newly extended wharf that will increase the capacity of Rio’s port facilities in Kitimat and support economic diversification in Northern British Columbia.
The new wharf was built for Rio at its existing Terminal A facility by LNG Canada, and will replace a wharf and land leased to LNG Canada in 2018 for use to start exporting liquefied natural gas to overseas customers.
Rio will use the new wharf for imports of alumina, anodes and other supplies for its operations, and exports of low-carbon aluminium made at its BC Works smelter. The first ship was berthed on December 6, at the wharf, which can now accommodate larger vessels ranging between 200 m and 250 m in length.
“Rio Tinto has been operating in the Port of Kitimat since 1954. This new wharf offers new safety features for our people, additional metal storage capacity and the ability to host larger ships. We look forward to continuing our work with LNG Canada, First Nations partners and the local community to support a diverse economy in British Columbia through this strategically located port," Rio aluminium interim MD for its Atlantic operations Sébastien Ross said.
Construction of the wharf began in December 2018. It involved building a 20,000 m³ concrete deck supported by more than 400 steel piles to extend Terminal A and adding a deep-sea hydraulic barge ramp.
LNG Canada CEO Peter Zebedee said the company is committed to ensuring that benefits from the project flow to local and Indigenous communities, and across British Columbia and Canada.
“The Rio Tinto Terminal A extension demonstrates this commitment in action, with more than 20 local and British Columbia-based businesses and Nations engaged with the project over 36 months of construction. As of December 2021, LNG Canada and its contractors and subcontractors have awarded C$3.5-billion in contracts and procurement to business in British Columbia. Of this amount, approximately C$3-billion has been awarded to First Nations-owned businesses and local area businesses.”