By R. Bruce Striegler

Viterra Inc.’s Vancouver Cascadia and Pacific Terminals

Viterra operates six port facilities in its network, shipping grains, oilseeds and pulses to customers in over fifty countries. This includes the Cascadia and Pacific Terminals at the Port of Vancouver. The Cascadia terminal handles wheat, durum, canola, barley and rye, with a storage capacity of 280,000 tonnes. Over the past several years, Viterra invested more than $100 million in the Pacific Terminal, which opened in 2016 and tripled the terminal’s annual handling capacity to more than six million tonnes. Originally constructed in the 1920s, the Pacific Terminal is comprised of the original National Harbours Board facility and the original Alberta Pacific Grain Co. Viterra assumed ownership in 2007.

Cascadia Terminal:

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 rail cars in an eight hour period.

Employees: 127

Cascadia Terminal is regarded as the most automated export grain facility in the Port of Vancouver. Cascadia has completed upgrading its facilities, including the installation of new bulk weighers, upgrades to shipping conveyors and rotary cleaners, and improved electrical and dust control systems. Included was a new ship loader system which will allow for the loading of “post-Panamax” vessels. At the Pacific Terminal, dredging and expansion of the ship loading basin to accommodate vessels up to 245 metres and construction of new marine structures to support front travelling rail and fender systems, along with new mooring dolphins and installation of a covered 72-inch wide conveyor belt feed the travelling New Clevland ship loader.

Cargill’s Vancouver Terminal

Cargill’s North Vancouver Terminal was built in 1968 by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and purchased by Cargill in 2007. The terminal has a load out capacity of 2,200 MT/hour. Products handled include wheat, barley, canola and peas. In 2016, the company completed improvements which involved the addition of a dedicated lead track from the CN yard, and reconfiguring the existing rail track with additional switches to increase average car unload capacity from 125 to 175 cars per day. The project decreased noise, improved safety and increased plant efficiency.

Capacity: 235,000 tonnes of licenced storage (Four million tonnes of throughput annually)

Berths: Two, capable of handling Cape-size vessels, generally load Panamax and Handy-size ships

Rail access: Served by CN Rail, accommodates two 75-car runs: one loading one unloading

Employees: 165

The terminal handles all types of grain, except for oats and flax. The terminal employs a 1,600 tonne per hour High Roller belt and a secondary back-up system, rated at 600 tonnes per hour. Cargill’s terminal has conveyor belts running to each of the three storage annexes.

DP World’s Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal, a state of the art container handling facility was acquired in 2015 by DP World. Strategically situated on the great circle route from Asia, Prince Rupert is also North America’s deepest natural harbor. Under the previous operator, the Fairview Terminal had received environmental approvals for a further terminal expansion. The proposed expansion would increase capacity to 2.3 million TEU’s.

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.

DP World agreed to further feasibility studies on the southern portion of the expansion, which has had federal environmental approval. Construction moved ahead for the Phase II North expansion, which by December 2016 had reached the 75 percent completion point. The project will increase annual capacity at Prince Rupert’s container terminal to over 1.35 million TEUs and expand the wharf to 800m in length. In anticipation of the entire expansion, in 2014, CN Rail completed a 12,000 foot siding which will have an on-site storage capacity of 28,560 TEUs at five high. The next significant milestone for the project is expected in March 2017 with the arrival of three Malacca-max dock gantry cranes to make Prince Rupert big ship ready. Each crane is equipped with a reach of 25 containers wide and is capable of working the largest vessels in the world with a carrying capacity of 20,000- plus TEUs.

GCT Deltaport

Thirty kilometres south of Vancouver, the largest container terminal in Canada continues construction on its $280 million Deltaport Intermodal Yard Reconfiguration project. The 85-hectare (210-acre) facility is designed to handle the largest container vessels in service and employs state-of-the-art computer systems. GCT Canada says the upgrade, when complete in April 2017, will densify operations and increase rail capacity by 50 per cent to 1.9 million TEUs. The Roberts Bank operation is located on the Canadian side of U.S. border.

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

In early 2016, as a compliment to its Reconfiguration Project, GCT Canada ordered 12 state-of-the-art rubber tired gantry cranes (RTG) from leading clean energy equipment manufacturer, Konecranes of Finland. The new equipment boosts yard velocity densifying container handling with the RTGs’ 1-over-5 high and 40 LT lifting capacity. All twelve RTGs have now been delivered fully erect.

Terminal 2: The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is proposing the construction of a new greenfield facility, Terminal 2, also located at Roberts Bank. The Project is a proposed new three-berth container terminal which would provide 2.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of container capacity and is forecasted to meet demand for trade of goods in containers. The Project is undergoing a federal environmental assessment by an independent review panel, under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Subject to regulatory approvals and permits, market conditions and a final investment decision, construction of the Project would begin in 2018 and would take approximately five-and-a-half years to complete. This would allow the Project to be operational by the mid-2020s, when its capacity will be required.

Richardson International Vancouver Terminal

Based in Winnipeg, Richardson International Limited is Canada’s largest, privately-owned agribusiness, and is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of all major Canadian-grown grain and oilseeds. Following a $140 million expansion project, concluded in 2016, Richardson added an 80,000-metric-tonne concrete grain storage annex to its terminal, increasing storage capacity to 178,000 metric tonnes. The terminal now has the ability to handle in excess of six million tonnes each year

Capacity: 178,000 tonnes

Berths: One berth – 2 PECO loaders – each rated at 1800 metric tonnes per hour

Rail access: 2 rail yards – East – 90 cars, West 220 cars, serviced by CN rail only.

Employees: 114 combined union and management

In addition to the new grain storage facility, a new indexer has been added to double receiving capacity from 150 railcars per day to 300 and some rail track has been reconfigured. Improvements to the electrical system were also included with the project. Richardson shipped 551,000 tonnes of grain in April 2016 alone, beating the previous record of 489,000 tonnes. That same month, the Vancouver terminal received 5,400 rail cars, 200 more than it has ever received in the same time period. The improvement project was completed on-time and on-budget, while maintaining daily operations throughout the construction.

Western Stevedoring’s Lynnterm East and West Gate

Western Stevedoring’s 33-hectare Lynnterm East and 17-hectare West Gate terminal facilities are located on the waterfront of North Vancouver City in the Port of Vancouver. Beginning life more than 60 years ago as McKay Stevedoring and Contracting Company, loading lumber in Port Alberni, B.C. the company became Western Stevedoring in 1950. Lynnterm East Gate is a consolidation centre for containers, forest products, steel and breakbulk. Immediately adjacent, Lynnterm West Gate handles wood pulp, lumber, wood panel products, logs, steel products, project cargo and machinery. Together, the facilities handle 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. An approximate 9 km (5.6 miles) of track on-site offers 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

In December 2016, G3 Terminal Vancouver, an affiliate of G3 Global Holdings (G3), announced that it will build a state-of-the-art grain export terminal at Lynnterm West Gate. This will be the first new grain terminal constructed at the Port of Vancouver since the 1960s. Construction will commence in March 2017, with the terminal slated for completion in 2020. G3’s Vancouver terminal will feature a rail loop track that will be capable of holding three 134-car trains, unique to grain exporting terminals in Canada. The terminal includes over 180,000 metric tonnes of storage and will be able to handle cereal grains, oilseeds, pulses and special crops, much of which will be supplied via a throughput agreement with G3 Canada Limited. This will allow trains to travel to Vancouver, unload while in continuous motion, and travel back to G3 Canada’s primary elevators, including four recently constructed primary elevators, without detaching from their locomotives, critical to increasing supply chain efficiency.

Prince Rupert’s Ridley Terminals Inc.

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. In 1991 the Federal Government became sole owner of the terminal, making Ridley Terminals Inc. a Federal Crown Corporation. Market conditions continue to present significant challenges to North American coal producers, with sustained low prices for coal prevailing throughout 2015 and 2016. In the third quarter of 2016, Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) continued to experience lower volumes at the terminal during the first two months of the quarter, but was followed by a slight increase in throughput volumes to end the month of September. This late quarter increase in terminal volumes is attributable to market prices showing a drastic increase in the same time horizon. As well, a new coal customer has been brought to RTI, with significant increases in contracted volumes across its long-term contract.

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

RTI has undertaken diversification initiatives to insulate itself from exposure to the coal and petroleum coke markets. One initiative has been met by securing an agreement with AltaGas Ltd. to sublease a specific area of RTI’s footprint in order for AltaGas Ltd. to unload, store and load LPG for export. This project is currently in its final engineering and feasibility stages, as well as finalizing regulatory and consultation efforts.

Coal volumes accounted for 85.15 percent of total terminal shipments in the third quarter of 2016, with petroleum coke covering the balance at 14.85 percent. A total of nine vessels loaded product at the terminal during the third quarter of 2016 compared to 12 vessels in the third quarter of 2015. In November 2016, Ridley Terminals Inc. announced the appointment of Marc Duludeas President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective December 5, 2016, succeeding David Kirsop, who had been Interim President and COO since January 1, 2016.

Westshore Terminals at Roberts Bank

Westshore Terminals, one of the busiest export coal facilities in North America is located at Roberts Banks, approximately 30 kilometres south of the City of Vancouver and only 500 metres from the U.S. 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. The coal is loaded onto ships that are destined for approximately 20 countries across the world, with most of the volumes shipped to Japan, Korea and China.

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.

Employees: 300

The terminal has been engaged in a $270 million capital improvement project, which continues on plan and on budget. To date, the new office and shops have been completed, and the new shiploader for Berth 1 has been delivered and is operational. The first of three new stacker reclaimers is on site and is being commissioned and is due to be operational during the first quarter of 2017. The second new stacker reclaimer is due to arrive in late 2017 and be commissioned and operational during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Kinder Morgan’s Vancouver Wharves

Located east of the Lions Gate Bridge in the Port of Vancouver, the 139-acre marine bulk terminal Vancouver Wharves handles wood pellets, mineral concentrates, sulphur, agricultural products and liquids. Owned by Kinder Morgan Canada Terminals Ltd.; Vancouver Wharves has been in operation since 1959. 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 or out-bound 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; one with a length of 185.5m handles exports and imports of concentrates. Berths two and three, each at 317 metres, handle distillates; berth four, 161.3 metres 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 site, the terminal continues to investigate new proposals.

Neptune Bulk Terminals

Since 1970, Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd., has handled potash, coal, bulk vegetable oils, fertilizers and agricultural products from their location on the City of North Vancouver waterfront. Considered one of the largest multi-bulk terminals in North America, Neptune has since 2013, been upgrading its terminal infrastructure to increase capacity from nine million tonnes of metallurgical coal exports to 18.5 million tonnes. Neptune has also upgraded its potash system in recent years to include 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.

In recent years, Neptune Terminals have completed expansion work to increase its steel-making coal loading capacity to 18.5 million tonnes. 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 coincided with work Port of Vancouver has completed on the Low Level Road, a realignment and elevation of about 2.6 kilometers of waterfront road access that provides space for two new rail tracks while eliminating three existing rail and road crossings and provides direct access to terminals.

DP World Centerm Terminal

Located on the south shore of Vancouver’s inner harbour, Centerm is one of three primary container terminals at the Port of Vancouver which handles approximately one-fifth of the goods shipped in containers through the Vancouver Pacific Gateway. Owned by DP World, the terminal began as Vancouver Stevedoring in 1923, became Casco Terminals in 1968 operating Centennial Pier, which is where the current designated name originated. (Centerm). 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. DP World’s Centerm is part of an international network of 70 terminals across six continents.

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

As part of its ongoing investment in modern container handling equipment, DP World Centerm will be receiving delivery of a new ZPMC Super Post-Panamax quay crane in early February 2017. The terminal is working with the Port of Vancouver on an expansion project for the container terminal as well as off-terminal road and rail expansion, which will increase the number of containers handled by two thirds. The preliminary cost estimate for the Expansion Project is approximately $454 million, including approximately $106 million in terminal operating systems and equipment improvements. When fully operational, the project will create opportunities for up to 40 full-time staff and 290 equivalent full-time unionized jobs at the terminal. The project is under review and approval by Port of Vancouver. Should it be approved, construction of the project is anticipated to start in early 2017 and be completed in late 2019.

Fraser Surrey Docks

Approximately 27 km from downtown Vancouver, on the south bank of the Fraser River, is the multi-purpose marine terminal of Fraser Surrey Docks. (FSD). Located in the Metro Vancouver municipality of Surrey, Fraser Surrey Docks handles significant volumes of packaged lumber exports, together with a large volume 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 square metres 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 of 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. In November 2015, Fraser Surrey Docks received approval from Port of Vancouver to amend its previously approved proposed U.S. coal transfer project. Challenges to the project on a variety of issues including air quality will be heard in Federal Court in Vancouver in May 2017.