Established in 1984, the construction of Ridley Terminals was a joint venture between the Federal Government and Federal Commerce & Navigation, in support of coal developments in northeast British Columbia. In 1991 the Federal Government became sole owner of the terminal, making Ridley Terminals Inc. a Federal Crown Corporation.
RTI received its first train of coal in November 1983, and the first ship, the Shoryu Maru, was loaded on January 7, 1984. The official opening of Ridley Terminals was on June 8, 1984. The total tonnage shipped from RTI in 1984 was 5.5 million tonnes.