Port Authority's Role with Coal

The Port Alberni Port Authority has a vested interest in the proposed Compliance Coal Corporation’s Raven Coal project – just like every other resident, business and organization in the community. The prospective shipping of coal through Port Alberni inherently brings unique opportunities and challenges as well as questions that must be answered by the proponent to satisfy the appropriate regulatory bodies, regardless of the potential benefits. The Port Authority is extremely interested in the proponent’s answers to these issues since the project could potentially impact the Port’s operations and future opportunities in other parts of its business.
The Port’s attention to this project is the same as it is with any other current or prospective client that is interested in using its facilities. It is the Port’s mandate to support shipping of goods, in the interest of Canada, by negotiating, in good faith, arrangements for producers to ship their goods from Port facilities. If the provincial and federal ministers rule that the coal project, which includes its transportation and shipping plans, is acceptable, then the Port is duty-bound to negotiate use of its terminals with the proponent.
In order to accommodate general customer needs the Port does make improvements to its facilities from time to time, such as the recent installation of new 75-tonne pull bollards to support larger lumber-shipping vessels calling at berth 3. To be clear, however, with respect to the Raven project the Port is not making direct investments in the actual facility upgrades with the possible exception of some site preparation and berthing modifications. The proposed coal project facilities that have been outlined to date by the proponent will be required to be funded by the proponent. The Port will negotiate terms of a lease on Port property with the proponent to conduct its lawful operations if all aspects of the project pass the regulatory tests.
“The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) is playing an enhanced role in the environmental assessment of this project as it will perform the duties and functions of the responsible authority in relation to this project until the submission of the comprehensive study report to the Minister of the Environment.” The reason it is doing this is because “Fisheries and Oceans Canada may issue a permit or license under subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act and the Port Alberni Port Authority may provide federal lands for the purpose of enabling this project to be carried out.” (from CEAA Compliance Coal Project webpage)
The Port Alberni Port Authority will continue to objectively study all the facts presented about the project; respect and contribute to the process as requested; and, if the time comes, examine a prospective business arrangement with the proponent to fulfill its mandate of supporting shipping interests on behalf of the country’s international trading position.