2012- The Kitamat Port Development Society conducted a feasibility study in 2006 examining the feasibility of converting the private port of Kitimat into a public break bulk shipping terminal.
This study enabled the Kitamaat Port Development Society to complete a four phase study that examined the logistics of converting the Port of Kitimat into a public facility. Work under this project included evaluation of costs, assessment of potential environmental and socio-economic impacts, and the development of an implementation plan.
If realized, the re-development of Kitimat's port infrastructure and operating model was envisioned to provide additional port capacity on the west coast of British Columbia, saving time and money for the northern businesses and industries that would utilize a publicly operated break bulk shipping terminal.
Efficient and cost effective transportation of bulk goods is fundamental to sustaining and growing northern British Columbia's resource-based industries as well as new and existing manufacturers. The study found that a publicly operated break bulk shipping terminal in Kitimat would be a viable international shipping option for both domestic and foreign companies.
By establishing an alternative gateway to global markets for bulk products such as mining concentrates, minerals, forest products, and manufactured goods, the addition of a public shipping terminal in Kitimat would address a range of existing business needs in northern BC while also opening up new opportunities. Through the study, the Kitamaat Port Development Society emphasized that the greatest potential of this project lies in its ability to create a cascading effect of stimulating complimentary industry activity and economic development within the region.
As Rio Tinto Alcan embarks on their the Kitimat Modernization Project, Apache pursues development of a LNG terminal in Kitimat, and a number of mines and energy project move to their construction phases, the value of a port infrastructure in Kitimat is evident. The ability to bring equipment and supplies from the global market place directly to where construciton will occurr significantly reduces the costs of transportaion supporting the economic viability of all of these projects.