By R. Bruce Striegler
Viterra Pacific Elevators, located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, is owned and operated by Viterra Inc. The facility was originally constructed in 1924, handling specialty grain crops such as peas, lentils, soybeans, flax and canola. The Terminal unloads, weighs, cleans and ships these products to customer’s world-wide. In 2014, Viterra announced $100 million worth of terminal improvements and upgrades.
Capacity: Three million tonnes per year.
Berths: One berth with peak capacity of 1,200 tonnes per hour.
Rail access: CP Rail, with a spot capacity of approximately 100 railcars and a capacity to unload 55 cars every eight hours.
Viterra Pacific Elevators is undertaking upgrades which include the installation of new bulk weighers, upgrades to shipping conveyors and rotary cleaners, and improved electrical and dust control systems. The most significant project planned is the installation of a new ship loader system, which is expected to significantly increase shipping capacity and allow for the loading of "post-Panamax" vessels. These initiatives will be completed by 2016 and result in a rated capacity up to 6 million metric tonnes annually.
Cascadia Terminal is located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet and is operated by Cascadia Port Management Corporation. The terminal is 75 per cent owned by Viterra and 25 per cent by Richardson International under an agreement reached in September 2013. The terminal handles wheat, durum, canola and barley with the ability to efficiently unload, weigh, clean and ship grain to export customers around the world.
Capacity: 6 million tonnes per year
Berth: One berth with peak capacity of 3,200 tonnes per hour.
Rail access: CP Rail, with two service tracks each holding 60 cars. The terminal unloads 210 railcars in an eight hour period.
Cascadia Terminal handled 5.3 million tonnes of grain in 2014 and is regarded as the most automated export grain facility in the port of Vancouver. Cascadia is currently upgrading its facilities, including the installation of new bulk weighers, upgrades to shipping conveyors and rotary cleaners, and improved electrical and dust control systems. The most significant project planned is the installation of a new ship loader system, which is expected to significantly increase shipping capacity and allow for the loading of “post-Panamax” vessels. It is anticipated that all of these initiatives will be completed in 2016.
Cargill Limited is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba and employs over 8,000 people across Canada. Cargill is one of Canada’s largest agricultural merchandisers and processors, handling wheat, durum, canola, barley and grain by-products. Cargill’s western grain terminal is located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet at Port Metro Vancouver.
Capacity: 235,000 tonnes of licenced storage (Four million tonnes of throughput annually)
Berths: Two, capable of handling Capesize vessels, generally load Panamax and Handysize ships
Rail access: Served by CN Rail, accommodates two 75-car runs: one loading, one unloading
“Our Vancouver terminal has capacity of 235,000 tonnes of licenced storage and we handle all types of grain except for oats and flax right now,” says Gerry Dickie, General Manager at Cargill Limited’s Vancouver terminal. “Our shipping conveyance system is a 1,600 tonne per hour High Roller belt with a secondary back-up system, currently an open belt, rated at about 600 tonnes per hour. We have conveyor belts running to each of our three storage annexes rated at about 500 tonnes per hour.”
This year saw the transfer of ownership of Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal, a state of the art container handling facility. The high volume Intermodal container transfer facility was acquired in 2015 by DP World. This efficiency further enhances Prince Rupert’s total transit time advantage between Asia and North America. Strategically situated on the great circle route from Asia, Prince Rupert is also North America’s deepest natural harbor.
Capacity: Operational capacity: 750,000 TEU’s. Container Yard able to handle 9,000 TEUs, 72 Reefer plugs. Four cranes give Fairview capacity from 750,000 containers to 850,000 TEU’s.
Berths: One 18.7 metre berth depth can accommodate container ships with a capacity of 12,500 containers
Rail access: CN Rail; seven working tracks, six storage tracks 5,182 metres (17,000 foot) train capacity
Employees: About 22 persons in management, administration and maintenance. From a pool of more than 300 registered longshoremen, Fairview Terminal can employ as many as 225.
Under the previous operator, Fairview Terminal had received environmental approvals for a further terminal expansion. The proposed expansion would increase capacity to 2.3 million TEU’s. DP World has agreed to further feasibility studies on the southern portion of the expansion, which has had federal environmental approval. Meanwhile construction is underway for the Phase II North expansion. The project will expand the wharf to 800 metres in length and enable an increase in throughout capacity to 1.3 milllion TEUs per annum, and is expected to be complete by 2017. CN Rail completed a 12,000-foot siding which will have an on-site storage capacity of 28,560 TEUs at five high.
Located at Roberts Bank, 30 kilometres south of Vancouver on the U.S. border, GCT Deltaport is the largest container terminal in Canada. It is an 85-hectare (210-acre) facility designed to handle the largest container vessels in service, employing state-of-the-art computer systems. In October 2015 GCT Canada announced that it broke ground on its C$280 million GCT Deltaport Intermodal Yard Reconfiguration project. When complete in 2017, the upgrade will densify operations and increase the facility’s container capacity by 600,000 TEUs, from 1.8 million TEUs to 2.4 million.
Current Capacity: 1.8 million TEUs annually
2017 Capacity: 2.4 million TEUs annually
Berths: One contiguous berth totaling 1,100 metres (3,609 feet), with ten post Panamax gantry cranes.
Rail access: CN Rail, CP Rail, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF); on-dock intermodal rail yard with eight tracks totaling 8,534 metres (28,000 feet).
Employees & Workforce: GCT Canada 2,000+ FTEs
Deltaport Terminal 2: Port Metro Vancouver is proposing the construction of a new greenfield facility, Terminal 2, also located at Roberts Bank. This multi-berth container terminal located south of the City of Vancouver, would provide 2.4 million TEUs of container capacity annually. The project is undergoing federal and provincial environmental reviews. Assuming regulatory approvals are awarded, construction would begin in 2018, taking over five years to construct. The project will be funded by Port Metro Vancouver and a private investor on a new man-made island adjacent to the existing GCT Deltaport terminal.
Richardson International Limited is Canada’s largest, privately-owned agribusiness serving farmers across the country for more than 150 years. Based in Winnipeg, Richardson has over 1,700 employees across Canada and is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of all major Canadian-grown grain and oilseeds. Richardson’s Vancouver terminal has been operating at maximum volume for several years, and is currently undergoing a capacity expansion.
Capacity: 70 to 75 thousand metric tonnes of wheat, cereal grains, oilseeds and canola.
Berths: One berth with two loading structures.
Rail access: CN Rail; two sets of holding tracks; one with capacity 75 to 80 cars, the second, a holding yard with capacity 190 to 200 railcars.
Employees: Not available
The Vancouver Terminal has completed an expansion that adds a new grain storage facility with an 80,000 tonne capacity. A new indexer has been added to double receiving capacity from 150 railcars per day to 300 and some rail track has been reconfigured. Two new annexes are finished and work completed on conveyance and electrical systems. With the new additions, the terminal will double capacity to approximately 140,000 tonnes.
What began more than 60 years ago as McKay Stevedoring and Contracting Company loading lumber in Port Alberni, became Western Stevedoring in 1950. The company now operates Lynnterm East Gate, a consolidation centre for containers, forest products, steel and breakbulk. Sitting side-by-side, Lynnterm West Gate handles wood pulp, lumber, wood panel products, logs, steel products, project cargo and machinery. Lynnterm is located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, across the harbour from downtown Vancouver, and handles more than 12 million tonnes of cargo annually.
Capacity: Outside storage capacity of 59 hectares (145 acres) on heavy-duty pavement and eight warehouses totaling 81,750 square metres (876,000 square feet) designed to store forest products, general cargo and steel. The warehouses are serviced by rail trackage and have covered loading aprons for trucks and railcars.
Berths: Seven all-concrete berths are 1,516 metres in length (4,974′) have a depth of 12 to 15 metres at low water.
Rail access: CN Rail and access to rail interchange offering service to all the major rail carriers. Approximately 9 km (5.6 miles) of track on-site offer direct access to warehouse and storage areas, providing direct transfer to and from railcars, and rail shunting equipment is available on-site.
Employees: Approximately 300 to 350
A vital supply chain partner to many of Canada’s forestry companies, Lynnterm annually handles exports of up to 1.5 million tonnes of wood pulp. Imports through the terminal have included aircraft parts for Bombardier Dash-8 airplanes, Vancouver’s rail transit passenger cars as well as steel roof girders for BC Place Stadium and steel components for construction of the new Port Mann Bridge.
Established in 1984, Ridley Terminals Inc. was a joint venture between the Federal Government and Federal Commerce and Navigation, in support of coal developments in northeast British Columbia. Originally, Ridley Terminals serviced the coal mines and refineries of northern B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, but beginning in 2010, the terminal accepted product from B.C.’s southeast region, and in 2011 received coal from the U.S.
Capacity: 18 million tonnes, expandable to 25 million tonnes. On site storage capacity: 1.2 million tonnes, expanding to 2.5 million tonnes
Berths: One Dolphin type berth. Berthing dolphins of 150 metres, and mooring dolphins of 370 metres
Rail Access: CN Rail; Train unloading rate: up to 6,000 tonnes per hour
Employees: Not available
Market conditions continue to present significant challenges to North American coal producers, with sustained low prices for coal prevailing throughout 2015. Compared to the same year-to-date period in 2014, Ridley Terminals rail unloading volumes decreased by 42.7 per cent or 2,450,000 tonnes, for a total of 3,289,000 tonnes. Ship-loading volumes decreased by 43.2 percent or 2,467,000 tonnes, when compared against the same year-to-date period in 2014 for a total of 3,244,000 tonnes loaded. Significant efforts are underway to support other product exports to diversify RTI’s business. The federal government is looking for a buyer of the terminal.
Westshore Terminals has been handling coal for 45 years and remains the busiest coal export facility in North America. Located at Roberts Bank, 32 kilometres south of downtown Vancouver, the Port Metro Vancouver coal export terminal is 500 metres from the United States border. As well as handling coal from both B.C. and Alberta, Westshore handles exports from U.S. coal mines in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.
Capacity: 30.6 million tonnes
Berths: Two; Each berth peak loading capacity, 7,000 tonnes per hour through four stacker reclaimers and seven kilometres of high-speed conveyor systems.
Rail access: CP Rail, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), CN Rail
Two rail loops and two twin rotary dumpers, each have an unloading capacity of 63 cars per hour.
Westshore Terminals, which expects to be operating in 2016 at 79 percent of its export capacity of 33 million tonnes, has still experienced much heavier traffic than British Columbia’s other major site for exporting coal, Ridley Terminals Inc. Low prices for thermal coal forced Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy Logistics LLC to announce in October 2015 that it would halt its exports through Westshore, agreeing to pay a series of penalties for opting out of shipments from 2016 through 2018. The terminal’s five-year, $270 million improvement project is now complete, the last phase being new offices, warehousing and maintenance facilities altogether in a new facility at the northern end of the 54 hectare site. In December 2015, Westshore warned it may scale back its growth strategy and reduce capital spending to $225 million.
In operation since 1959, Vancouver Wharves is a bulk marine terminal, owned by Kinder Morgan Canada Terminals Ltd., and is part of Port Metro Vancouver. The terminal is strategically located east of the Lions Gate Bridge on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. Vancouver Wharves handles wood pellets, mineral concentrates, sulphur, agricultural products and liquids. By revenue, concentrates and sulphur comprise the largest share, followed by agri-products, liquids, and other commodities.
Capacity: Handles more than three million tonnes of inbound and outbound cargo annually. Capable of handling Panamax size vessels, with significant rail infrastructure, dry bulk and liquid storage capacity of nearly one million tonnes including up to 250,000 barrels of petroleum products along with material handling systems.
Berths: Five berths; berth one with a length of 185.5 metres handles exports and imports of concentrates. Berth two and three, at 317 metres, handle distillates; berth four, 161.3-metre long is for sulphur and the 239 metre long berth five handles grain products.
Rail Access: CN Rail, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe, CP Rail
Employees: Management approximately 42; Longshore workforce varies depending upon the cargoes and ship sizes.
The terminal operates a dual-purpose (rotary/bottom-dump) rail car dumper, conveying system and two quadrant ship loaders at one berth servicing the sulphur industry with storage of over 165,000 tonnes. A separate bottom discharge rail car dumper, enclosed specialized airveyor conveying system and ship loader at another berth handles agri-products such as food-quality wheat, canola and malt, also providing storage of approximately 30,000 tonnes.
With approximately 25 acres of available land on the 125-acre site, the terminal continues to investigate new proposals.
Strategically located in Vancouver’s inner harbour, GCT Vanterm operates in naturally occurring deep water and is the most productive terminal in Port Metro Vancouver. It is a 31-hectare (76-acre) container terminal with 619 metres (2,030 feet) of berth, offering six high-speed, super post-Panamax dock gantries, a modern fleet of container handling equipment, and an on-dock intermodal rail yard with nine tracks totaling 2,962 metres (9,600 feet.
Capacity: 530,000 TEUs
Berths: 619 metres (2,030 ft); six high-speed, super post-Panamax dock gantries,
Rail access: CN Rail, CP Rail; nine track-on-dock rail yard totaling 2,926.1 metres (9,600 ft)
Employees & Workforce: GCT Canada 2,000+ FTEs
Neptune is the largest multi-product bulk terminal in North America, and since 1970, Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd. has handled potash, coal, bulk vegetable oils, fertilizers and agricultural products. Beginning in 2013, Neptune Terminals, situated on Vancouver’s North Shore, began work on site-wide capacity improvements worth $400 million. The first of the terminal’s enhancements, and now complete, included a $49 million potash system upgrade, with a new storage shed, surge bin, railcar dumper and upgrades to the berth and associated conveyors.
Capacity: Approximately 24 million tonnes per year steelmaking coal, potash and phosphate rock
Berths: Three berths with depths ranging from 12.0 metres to 15.24 metres
Rail access: CN Rail network. Neptune has 14.5 km of continuous looped track on-site reducing noise from shunting. Rail capacity for four unit trains, one coal, three drybulk (potash, other)
Employees: Approximately 350 full-time positions.
Neptune Terminal continues improvements to increase its steel-making coal loading capacity to 18.5 million tonnes. This will increase the facility’s capacity by six million tonnes per year. Facilities include a second enclosed railcar dumper, on-site rail track relocation, new conveyors for product transport from the second railcar dumper and the replacement of the ship loader boom as well as foundation reinforcement at Berth One. These improvements coincide with work Port Metro Vancouver is undertaking along the North Shore waterfront. The Low Level Road is a continuous east-west route for both industrial traffic to the waterfront terminals as well as residents of the North Shore municipalities.
Centerm is a container terminal on the south shore of Vancouver’s inner harbour, one of three primary container terminals in the Vancouver gateway. DP World’s Centerm handles approximately one-fifth of the goods shipped in containers through Vancouver. It began as Vancouver Stevedoring in 1923, became Casco Terminals in 1968 operating Centennial Pier (Centerm), where Casco built a first-class reputation for handling containerized cargo, export pulp, and various breakbulk commodities. In February 2003, P&O Ports acquired Canadian Stevedoring and Casco Terminals to form P&O Ports Canada Inc. In March 2006, DP World acquired P&O Ports to become one of the top marine terminal operators in the world.
Capacity: 800,000 TEU’s annually
Berths: Two 717m berths with capacity of 30 gross moves per hour (GMPH)
Rail access: CN Rail and CP Rail
Employees: 160 plus
DP World’s Centerm is working with Port Metro Vancouver on a proposed expansion project. The expansion will increase the number of containers handled by two thirds. The project is in preliminary design phase and will be subject to review and approval by Port Metro Vancouver’s Project and Environmental Review Process. These proposed improvements include an expansion of the terminal area, reconfiguration of the terminal, road and rail access improvements. Should it be approved, construction of the project is anticipated to start in early 2017 and be completed in late 2019.
Located in the Metro Vancouver municipality of Surrey on the south bank of the Fraser River, Fraser Surrey Docks (FSD) is a multi-purpose marine terminal handling significant volumes of packaged lumber exports, together with large volumes of steel plate, coil, pipe, wire, rod, beam and other structural products. The facility has been called the largest, most up-to-date multi-purpose marine terminal on the West Coast of North America.
Capacity: Provides up to 63 hectares (154 acres) yard area and four sheds offering 30,654 sq. m. of covered storage.
Berths: Six berths able to accommodate vessels with a draft of up to 11.7 metres. A hydraulic ramp provides service for barge traffic at a separate berth. Four dock gantry cranes with up to 80 tonnes of lifting capacity service container vessels.
Rail access: CN Rail, CP Rail, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, B.C.’s Southern Rail with 20,000 feet of on-dock track and an adjacent 18,000 feet of rail owned by Port Metro Vancouver.
Employees: Between 200 and 400.
Fraser Surrey Docks also handles project cargoes, and ship stevedoring is available through a wholly owned subsidiary, Pacific Rim Stevedoring. Each year FSD handles 300 to 400 deep-sea vessels, including Panamax size. Fraser Surrey Docks received approval in 2014 from Port Metro Vancouver for a project permit to build coal transfer facilities within the existing terminal operations. Jill Buchanan, Director of Human Resources and communications says that currently FSD is working its way through nearly 80 conditions, including pre-construction requirements. “We anticipate receiving our first coal train at the end of the first quarter of 2016, however, our existing customers will not be impacted when work begins.” Buchanan notes that other improvements at the terminal include an agricultural dust mitigation project.