Container traffic is a rapidly growing trade sector in the Pacific Gateway, with current volumes expected to double over the next 10 to 15 years and nearly triple by 2030. To ensure that there is sufficient capacity to meet forecasted Canadian volume demands, Port Metro Vancouver is moving forward with its Container Capacity Improvement Program (CCIP). The CCIP currently includes two projects that will provide the infrastructure improvements as they are required in Vancouver.

One of the fundamental components of the project development within the program has been the consultation between the Port, its industry partners, stakeholders and local communities.

“We are using best practices in consultation on these projects,” says Cliff Stewart, the Port’s Acting Vice-President of Infrastructure Delivery. “Not only are we following standards under the Environmental Assessment Act, but we’re going above and beyond these requirements by doing additional consultation. This is vital given the program’s mandate to explore ways of optimizing existing infrastructure before constructing anything new.”

Deltaport Terminal Road and Rail Improvement Project

Work has already begun on the Deltaport Terminal Road and Rail Improvement Project (DTRRIP), the first of the CCIP projects to be constructed. Designed to improve existing infrastructure at Roberts Bank, this project will increase Deltaport terminal’s container capacity by 600,000 TEUs to 2.4 million TEUs. Port Metro Vancouver, along with the Province of British Columbia and Deltaport operator, TSI Terminal Systems Inc., are working together to make changes to terminal access, on-terminal handling equipment, rail improvements and track configuration, as well as changes to the main roadway accessing the terminal.

“We want to make sure we’re getting the most out of existing terminals before we start building a new one,” Stewart says of the project.

Construction crews are currently working on the new causeway overpass, with expected completion in late 2014. The remaining project components, including rail improvements and terminal reconfiguration, are expected to be completed as required to meet demand by 2016.

Roberts Bank Terminal 2

The second CCIP project is a proposed new three berth container terminal at Roberts Bank. Port Metro Vancouver has already begun an extensive public consultation process, starting with pre-consultation in 2011. This multi-phase consultation program will continue alongside the environmental assessment review process, which will be carried out by provincial and federal environmental regulatory agencies over the next several years.

“The Port is taking responsibility for obtaining environmental approvals for the project and we expect those to be in place by mid 2017 or sooner,” says Stewart.

Port Metro Vancouver expects to launch their third round of public consultation in October 2013, with pre-design consultation asking industry and communities for feedback about habitat mitigation, truck traffic considerations and community legacy benefits.

Port Metro Vancouver expects to bring together the terminal operator, the design/build team and financing aspects of the project over the next few years, and begin construction as soon as possible, subject to environmental approvals.