The Province is investing up to $150,000 to study the feasibility of expanding Ashcroft Terminal to improve efficiency of the transportation corridors to and from the Lower Mainland ports, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone announced today.
“Finding innovative ways to move Canadian goods from source to overseas markets through our Lower Mainland ports is vital to trade and to Canada’s and B.C.’s economic success,” said Stone. “Container volume moving through the ports is expected to grow, so we need to manage increasing congestion on our roads and at the ports. Inland ports, such as Ashcroft Terminal, have the potential to ease congestion and increase capacity of land-constrained marine ports and to help improve supply chain efficiency.”
Ashcroft Terminal's geographic location along B.C.’s major highways and proximity to the main lines for both Canadian National Rail and Canadian Pacific Railway gives it the potential to become a significant link in the supply chain as an inland port. The Province will study whether an expansion of the facility could improve the supply chain for the railroads, producers and shippers, and alleviate port congestion in the Lower Mainland.
“I expect this study to demonstrate whether Ashcroft Terminal has the potential to lower the cost and increase the effective movement of goods from the Interior to the coast and whether it could provide environmental benefits to Lower Mainland communities by reducing greenhouse gases,” said Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. “This facility is important to B.C.’s natural resource sector and to the local economy, and an expansion could create 256 well-paying jobs for British Columbians.”
Ashcroft Terminal is a 129.5 hectare (320 acre) privately-owned trans-load and storage terminal that currently provides truck-to-rail and rail-to-truck bulk and break-bulk transfers servicing all sectors of the natural resource markets in B.C. The nearby Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway main lines run directly to the marine ports in the Lower Mainland.
The Province has posted a Request for Proposals for this study on BC Bid today. A report on the results of the study is expected in fall 2017.
A backgrounder follows.