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REPORTING · 12th August 2014
Walter McFarlane
With the Kitimat Modernization Project nearing its completion and other projects getting ready to begin, plans are underway to extend the Wharf at Rio Tinto Alcan Aluminium Smelter in Kitimat. The reason is because LNG Canada is buying the Eurocan Terminal to export LNG. The Terminal was purchased by Alcan after Eurocan shut down.

“We need to create an extension, an extended export / import facility for our own use. The two industries balance themselves really, really well, but the specific nature of LNG means the Ex-Eurocan Terminal B has to be dedicated for their use,” said Paul Henning, Director, B.C. Operations.

The extension is planned for the southern point of the existing Dock.

“It will be a piled structure with a concrete deck so water will be able to flow underneath it,” said Henning.

The two industries will be working together on the Replacement Infrastructure Project which will be constructed by LNG Canada for Rio Tinto Alcan.

Alcan has received a number of questions concerning the future of Hospital Beach. Henning explained they have taken the beach into consideration with the design of the terminal and the location of the barge ramp.

“We won’t close hospital beach permanently. We might have to close Hospital Beach temporarily from time to time, but not because of the construction of the extension of the Terminal. More so with industrial traffic on the road,” said Henning.

He expressed the public safety concern comes from not being able to predict when people being on the road while they are managing the transportation of material. He expressed they are trying to find an alternative solution.

“We hear the community loud and clear about: “It’s the only coastal community without its own waterfront access. We’d like to be a part of that solution,” said Henning. “I think it’s important that we try to be a part of that.”

Henning explained they want to work with other partners, industries and the District of Kitimat to find a solution. He said the area with the most potential was around Minette Bay, but this is not a project which will be completed in the short term.

On Thursday, August 7th, Rio Tinto Alcan held an open house at their office in the Kitimat City Centre Mall to present the project to the public, answer questions and hear feedback. It was a part of the process to file the project with the Environmental Assessment Office.

“Ideally, we'd like to be able to get the permitting in place to allow us to begin construction in late 2015. It is projected to be a two year schedule because of the fisheries window which means that we could complete by late 2016 to be live and operational in 2017. That would be nice because that would allow the LNG facility to be in construction and we would also be then stabilized in our new smelter operation. So completing this Terminal A extension project really allows LNG Canada to move along in their project,” said Henning.