Feds ante up towards Alberni container port study

Government house leader Peter Van Loan and Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney visited Port Alberni to announce $225,000 funding.

Peter Van Loan

A feasibility study to develop a container shipping port in Port Alberni is going ahead, after the federal government announced Wednesday to contribute $225,000 towards the study.

Government house leader Peter Van Loan said the federal government will provide half the cost for the study, which will look into potential opportunities and the viability of developing what may become B.C.’s third major port.

“This will beef up the role of this part of the province in being a gateway to the Asia-Pacific,” Van Loan said about the funding, outside the Maritime Discovery Centre Lighthouse at Harbour Quay. “This particular study will look at the potential of Port Alberni playing an increased role.”

Van Loan was joined by Nanaimo MP James Lunney and Port Alberni Port Authority board chair Don Ferster, while making the announcement. The money will come out of the Asia Pacific Gateway Canada Initiative program.

Port Alberni Port Authority CEO and manager Zoran Knezevic said the port authority has 750 hectares of land, located 30 kilometres down the Alberni Inlet, secured to build a container shipping port. The land currently houses a “small” log sorting facility.

“I am really confident the study will be successful,” Knezevic said. “It will produce a strong business case.”

Knezevic said the report will be completed in March.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com