It looks like the expansion of Ridley Terminals Inc. will happen after all.
Bud Smith, the Chairman of Ridley, told Muskeg News in an email the company had received approval from the Treasury Board, which would allow it to seek out lenders for long-term borrowing.
“RTI now will proceed to approach private sector lenders to secure the credit we need to move forward in growing our capacity,” Smith wrote.
Officials with Transport Canada, the ministry that oversees Ridley, confirmed the Treasury Board’s decision. “Financial viability is key to ensuring that this facility has the capacity available to meet industry needs,” said Maryse Durette, a spokesperson with Transport Canada.
A week ago, things did not look so certain. The Conservatives tabled a budget that contained a tidbit about Ridley on page 94: “the Government of Canada proposes to allow the corporation to borrow from capital markets so it can proceed with the necessary expansion of its facilities.” But that budget was never passed, as the government fell on March 25 after a vote of non-confidence. At that time, Smith said the defeat of the budget would hurt Ridley’s expansion plans.
But with the go-ahead to borrow, work can begin. Smith said Ridley will now focus on completing engineering work, procuring the necessary equipment, and preparing to “install more capacity with which to serve our growing list of customers.”
Smith wrote that he didn’t know exactly how much the expansion would cost, but estimated the dollar figure to be “north of $150 million over the period from now until 2014/15.”
The first stage, said Smith, is underway right now: building a new dumper system that will be installed this December. He also said Ridley will continue to hire more people, although some will be replacements for workers who are retiring.
~Written by Chris Armstrong. File photo.