Rio Tinto and LNG Canada open new wharf at Kitimat port
Anglo-Australian mining corporation Rio Tinto and Shell-Led LNG Canada have opened a newly extended wharf that will increase the capacity of Rio Tinto’s port facilities in Kitimat.
LNG Canada is a major $17 billion LNG project currently under construction in Kitimat, British Columbia. It will have a production capacity of 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the first two trains, with the potential to expand to four trains in the future.
Recently, LNG Canada built the new wharf for Rio Tinto at the existing Terminal A facility. It is to replace a wharf and land leased to LNG Canada in 2018 for exporting LNG to overseas customers. The wharf can now specifically accommodate larger vessels ranging between 200 and 250 metres in length.
On the other hand, Rio Tinto will use the new wharf for imports of alumina and other supplies. It will also use it for exports of low-carbon aluminum made at its BC Works smelter.
Construction of the wharf began in December 2018. It involved building a 20,000 cubic metres concrete deck to extend Terminal A and adding a deep-sea hydraulic barge ramp.
In addition, the first ship was berthed on at the wharf on 6 December 2021.
Sébastien Ross from Rio Tinto said: “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.”
LNG Canada CEO Peter Zebedee stressed the importance of ensuring that benefits from the project flow to local and Indigenous communities.
Contractors from the Haisla, Kitselas, and Kitsumkalum First Nations contributed to the completion of the project as well.