Private, First Nations owners take over former federal terminal

Riverstone Holdings and AMCI Group together own 90% of Ridley Terminals Inc. near Prince Rupert

A photo of Ridley Terminals | Submitted

What happened: A group of corporate and First Nations stakeholders have completed their acquisition of Ridley Terminals Inc., a marine bulk handling terminal previously owned by the Government of Canada.

Why it matters: The terminal is a key export point for B.C. and Alberta resources, including coal and liquefied petroleum gas.

New owners took over Ridley Terminals Inc. on Friday (December 20), more than a year after the federal government launched a competitive sale process to divest itself of the terminal.

No operational changes are anticipated at the facility, which is located near Prince Rupert.

In July, the Canada Development Investment Corp. announced that Riverstone Holdings LLC – a New York-based private equity firm – and AMCI Group – which owns and operates a number of natural resource companies – had agreed to acquire a 90% stake in Ridley Terminals for $350 million. A limited partnership owned by the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation now own the remaining 10%.

BIV reported earlier this year that the federal government only expected to net $100 million in profit on the sale of the terminal, which was established in 1983.

“Ridley Terminals will continue to be a key part of Canada’s trade network with the world,” said Hans Mende, co-founder of AMCI Group, in a news release. “This is a very unique partnership group that will ensure the terminal continues to be sustainable over the long-term with open access.”

According to Lax Kw'alaams Band Mayor Garry Reece, the First Nation’s ownership stake is a “significant part” of creating an economically sustainable future for the band.

“We are continuing our work of enhancing the quality of life for all members of our community,” he said in a release.

Metlakatla First Nation Chief Councillor Harold Leighton added that the partnership is strongly aligned with his nation’s principles of sustainable resource management.

“We are building a strong future for our community as a major economic force in northwest British Columbia,” he stated.

In August, Ridley Terminals announced a proposal to expand its infrastructure to include a second dock on Ridley Island. The terminal, along with Transport Canada and the Prince Rupert Port Authority, determined that the expansion would not likely cause any significant adverse environmental effects.