Why Do Companies Invest and Develop in Northwest BC?
Readily Available Industrial Land
Affordable, readily developed land is a commodity quickly declining in many parts of the world. Businesses looking to expand or launch new ventures are increasingly hindered by increasing land costs and limited accessibility. For example, industrial land surrounding metro Vancouver sells for more than $1 million per hectare ($400,000 per acre). Due to Vancouver’s geographical and political position (a gateway to the Pacific Rim while bordering the United States), these prices are expected to continue rising. In comparison, industrial land in the Terrace and the surrounding area costs as little as $7,000 per acre, and is supported by a comprehensive infrastructure resulting from more than 50 years of history in primary manufacturing industries.
Access to Global Markets
The Northwest Transportation Corridor is a well-developed infrastructure of highways, railways, airports, and seaports that provide direct access to North American and Pacific Rim markets. The ice-free Port of Prince Rupert (147 km west of Terrace) offers the shortest route between Asia and North America, by up to three days. Additionally, the proposed break-bulk facility of the Port of Kitimat would offer investors access to the closest inland port and intercontinental transport (Canadian National Railroad operates the only transcontinental rail network that covers all of Canada and the United States). From the road, major highways and railroads in British Columbia come to a junction at Terrace. By avoiding the congested southern routes, goods can be delivered to North American destinations without delay.
Stable Energy Networks
Years of heavy industry and growth have resulted in comprehensive power networks across Northern BC, providing reliable energy sources for businesses and development projects. This includes two hydroelectric power transmission lines (a 500 kV line serviced by Peace River and a 287 kV line from Kitimat Minette Bay sub-station), as well as a natural gas transmission line. Many industrial land sites are located adjacent to these power and natural gas transmission lines within the Kitimat-Terrace Industrial Corridor. Additionally, more than $9 billion has been invested into nearly a dozen energy projects in Northwest BC, ranging from hydroelectric power generation to wind farms.
Upcoming Development Projects
Available industrial land, access to world markets, and stable energy sources are a few of the key reasons why interest in Northwest BC continues to grow. Evidence of this can be seen in the many projects scheduled to begin as of 2011 and 2012, while others are in varying stages of receiving regulatory approval and commercial support. The projects mentioned below alone represent more than $11 billion in investment in the region:
|Apache Kitimat LNG Terminal||$3.00 billion|
|Pacific Trails Pipeline||$1.20 billion|
|Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization||$2.50 billion|
|Northwest Transmission Line||$0.40 billion|
|Alta Gas Forrest Kerr Project||$0.70 billion|
|Red Chris Mine||$0.44 billion|
|Galore Creek Mine||$2.50 billion|
|Prince Rupert Port Expansion||$0.60 billion|