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.
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.
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
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. The Company is completing on several additional improvements including construction of a new 69kV electrical sub-station and a 12kV duct bank at the North Vancouver grain handling facility.
DP World’s Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert
Located in Prince Rupert, on the West Coast of British Columbia, the Fairview Terminal was the first dedicated intermodal (ship to rail) container terminal in North America when it began operation in 2007, Since its conversion from a break-bulk facility in 2007, Fairview has been recognized as one of the fastest growing container terminals in North America. Terminal owner DP World celebrated the completion of Phase 2 North in 2017. The original design capacity of the terminal was 500,000 TEUs but the new expansion increases capacity to 1.35 million TEU’s. An 11 hectare increase to the terminal footprint will add more speed and reliability to terminal services.
Capacity: Throughput capacity has grown from 850,000 to 1.35 million TEUs.
Berths: The terminal now includes a second vessel berth serviced by three new “big ship ready” Malacca-max ship-to-shore cranes and is accessible by vessels of more than 20,000 TEU capacity via a 35-meter/115-foot deep shipping channel. Berth depth is 17 meters/55.8 feet at low tide.
Rail access: CN Rail; The expansion added 6,000 feet of on-dock 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.
The Port of Prince Rupert’s geographical position on the trans-Pacific trade route and the terminal’s sustained low dwell times have contributed to Fairview’s success. Integrated scheduling, real-time communication between shipping lines, DP World and CN Rail have resulted in high terminal velocity and productivity, and a seamless transfer of containers from vessel to train. DP World has ambitions to increase its West Coast Canada cargo handling capacity to four million TEUs by 2022. Sixty per cent of that total would go through Prince Rupert as part of a third Fairview expansion that would raise its capacity to between two million and 2.5 million TEUs.
GCT Deltaport Container Terminal
Thirty kilometres south of Vancouver, the largest container terminal in Canada will complete its $300 million Deltaport Intermodal Yard Reconfiguration project in 2018. The 85-hectare (210-acre) facility is big-ship ready, and handles the largest container vessels on the Trans-Pacific tradelane, employing state-of-the-art systems. GCT Canada says the upgrade densifies existing operations, increasing the facility’s rail capacity by 50 per cent to bring the terminal to a capacity of 2.4 million TEUs. GCT Deltaport is located in the Port of Vancouver and near the U.S. border.
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.
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
Licensed capacity – 178,000 tonnes
One berth – 2 PECO loaders – each rated at 1800 metric tonnes per hour
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
Western Stevedoring operates, and has been the sole operator of the Lynterm terminal since its inception in 1977. Located in the District of North Vancouver, Port of Vancouver, the terminal is a 33-acre facility that has become the Pacific Northwest’s main consolidation centre for pulp, lumber, steel products, project cargo and machinery. Lynterm is recognized worldwide as a critical strategic hub for break-bulk imports and exports in Canada’s Pacific Gateway. The facility handles up to two million tonnes of cargo annually.
Capacity: Outside storage capacity of 32 hectares (80 acres) on heavy-duty pavement with four warehouses totaling 62,096 square metres (668,4000 square feet) designed to store pulp, general cargo and steel. The warehouses are serviced by rail trackage, with covered loading aprons for rail and trucks.
Berths: Four all-concrete berths are 823 metres in length (2,700 feet) have a depth of 12 to 15 metres at low water.
Rail access: Service by CN Rail and access to rail interchange offering service to all the major rail carriers. An approximate 8 km (5 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: With many long-service employees, Western employs an average of 1,000 full-time equivalents throughout British Columbia, with approximately 350 – 400 based at the Lynterm facility.
Western has recently reduced its breakbulk terminal capacity by providing 65 acres for the development of the G3 Grain Terminal. An affiliate of G3 Global Holdings (G3) is constructing a new 180,000 metric tonne capacity terminal on the site, to handle cereal grains, oilseeds, pulses and special crops. The new terminal will be capable of holding three 134-car trains, unique to grain exporting terminals in Canada. Construction is underway, with completion scheduled for 2020.Western Stevedoring loads and discharges more than 12 million tonnes of cargo annually at ten different ports and terminals along the coast of Vancouver Island and on B.C.’s Lower Mainland.
Prince Rupert’s Ridley Terminals Inc.
The Federal Government’s Crown Corporation, Ridley Island Terminal (RTI) in Prince Rupert continued to realize significant growth through 2017, as global demand for metallurgical coal and petroleum coke products strengthened. Thermal shipments experienced a slight decrease on a year over year basis, but the combined shipments through the first nine months of 2017 were 5,634,000 tonnes, for an increase in shipments of 3,175,000 tonnes or 129.12 percent compared to the same period in 2016. 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. In recent years, RTI has undertaken diversification initiatives to insulate itself from exposure to the coal and petroleum coke markets.
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
One such diversification initiative has been met by the agreement with AltaGas Ltd. to sublease an area of RTI’s footprint in order to construct a liquefied propane gas (LPG) export terminal on a portion of the Ridley Island Terminal site. Designed to ship up to 1.2 million tonnes of propane per year from British Columbia and Alberta natural gas producers, and transported by CN Rail, the facility will offload approximately 50 to 60 rail cars per day and be able to ship approximately 20 to 30 propane cargoes per year. Construction is well underway with the majority of the work focused on the propane tank. Approximately 61 per cent of the construction workforce is made up of local contractors, community members and First Nations. The balance of plant fabrication and civil work is on track and the first modules are scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2018. The Ridley Island Propane Export Facility is expected to be in-service in the first quarter of 2019.
RTI’s rail unloading volumes of coal increased in the third quarter of 2017 by 153.7 percent or 1,285,000 tonnes when compared to 2016 for a total of 2,121,000 tonnes unloaded (2016: 836,000 tonnes). Ship-loading volumes increased by 222.54 percent or 1,471,000 tonnes during the third quarter of 2017 for a total of 2,132,000 tonnes loaded (2016: 661,000 tonnes). RTI continues with diversification efforts as the company continues to look at Canadian commodities requiring an outlet to overseas markets.
Westshore Terminals at Roberts Bank
Operating since 1970 in the Port of Vancouver, 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. The company estimates that approximately one-third of its business is directly attributable to the coal handled for U.S. customers.
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.
For the 11 months ended November 30, 2017, Westshore loaded 26.3 million tonnes as compared to 23.6 million tonnes for the same period in 2016. Throughput volumes for 2017 are anticipated to be over 29 million tonnes and volumes for 2018 are anticipated to be approximately 30 million tonnes, at rates similar overall to 2017. Beginning in the first quarter of 2014, Westshore has invested $275 million to replace aging equipment and modernize the office and shop complex. The project has included replacing the Berth One shiploader and three stacker-reclaimers as well as building a new office, shops and employee facilities complex. In 2018, the company is scheduled to replace a final Stacker Reclaimer, originally installed in 1972, as well as a major conveyor system. The work has all been carried out within the existing terminal footprint.
Kinder Morgan’s Vancouver Wharves
Located on the North Shore of Burrard Inlet, east of the Lions Gate Bridge, Kinder Morgan’s 139-acre Vancouver Wharves handles mineral concentrates (copper, zinc and lead), sulfur, specialty agriculture products, wood pellets, pulp and paper as well as break bulk cargoes and petroleum products. Owned by Kinder Morgan Canada Terminals Ltd., Vancouver Wharves has been in operation since 1959.
Capacity: Sulfur loading: two quadrant shiploaders rated at 3500 tons per hour. For agri-products, the terminal has a storage capacity of 25,000 tonnes, with space for additional quantities. Liquid (petroleum) services has four tanks available – two at 100,000 barrels and two at 25,000 barrels, with five rail unloading stations on one track and ten on the other. With mineral products, the terminal maintains the only permanent unloading crane at the port of Vancouver and enclosed facilities for loading/unloading, seven warehouse with a 500,000 tonne capacity. Pulp and paper storage is rated at 35,000 square metres of covered storage.
Berths: Four berths; with varying draft capability from 37 to 45 feet, with an approximate length of 900 feet.
Rail Access: CN, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe, CP Rail
Employees: Management approximately 42; Longshore workforce varies depending upon the cargoes and ship sizes.
Environmental care is high; mineral concentrates are fully enclosed, all site-water is collected and treated before release back to the ocean. All pulp and paper products are handled in weather-protected areas and cement-floor warehouses have the closest proximity to vessels than any other terminal in Vancouver. A dual purpose (rotary/bottom dump system along with conveyor systems and two quadrant ship loaders service the sulphur business. For agri-products, 100-car unit trains can be unloaded with only one break in the train. Totally enclosed, variable speed belts provide gentle handling and compliment the fast-loading system which is designed for 1500 tons from storage, and a “Cascade” shiploader flows product to the bottom of the hold for dust-free loading
Neptune Bulk Terminals
Situated on the waterfront of the City of North Vancouver, Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd., handles potash, coal, bulk vegetable oils, fertilizers and agricultural products. Part of the Port of Vancouver, Neptune is a private company, whose ownership includes Canpotex and Teck Resources Limited. Considered one of the largest multi-bulk terminals in North America, Neptune in recent years upgraded 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. The company is now working on road improvements to construct an overpass and ramp leading directly into the terminal.
Capacity: Approximately 24 million tonnes per year steelmaking coal, potash and phosphate rock
Berths: Three berths with depths ranging from 12 metres to 15.24 metres
Rail access: CN Rail network. Neptune has 14.5 kilometres 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.
The new road access is a further improvement from the work completed by the Port of Vancouver in recent years, a realignment and elevation of about 2.6 kilometres of waterfront road access which provides space for two new rail tracks and eliminated three existing rail and road crossings and provides direct access to terminals. The new overpass for heavy industrial transportation vehicles, will also enhance safety by enabling easier access for emergency vehicles.
DP World Centerm Terminal
Located in the Port of Vancouver, on the south shore of Burrard Inlet and at the literal edge of downtown Vancouver, DP World’s Centerm terminal is one of three primary container terminals at the port. 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 (Centerm) originated. The Vancouver terminal is part of DP World’s international network of 78 marine and inland terminals across six continents. Container handling is the company’s core business and generates more than three quarters of its revenue. In 2016, DP World handled around 64 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) across the network.
Capacity: 900,000 TEUs annually; operating six quay cranes including three ZPMC Super post panama, one Fantuzzi post panama; 19 one-over-five ZPMC/Noell rubber tire gantries
Berths: Two 717-metre container berths: depth 15.0 to 15.5 metres, total length 647 metres.
Rail access: CN Rail and CP Rail
Employees: 160 plus
On its 72-acre site in downtown Vancouver, DP World Centerm is in final stages of consultation on an expansion plan which will increase the number of containers handled by two thirds, raising capacity from 900,000 to 1.5 million. The plan also includes off-terminal road and rail expansion. Estimates of the cost of the expansion plan range from $350 to $454 million, and include 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 Centerm Expansion Project is currently being reviewed under the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Project and Environmental Review process. Procurement for the proposed project has been extended to accommodate extra due diligence being done through the permitting process. Should the project be approved, it is anticipated that construction would begin in 2018.
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, FSD handles significant volumes of packaged lumber exports, together with a large volume of steel plate, coil, pipe, wire, rod, beam and other structural products. FSD 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.
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 metric 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.
In November 2015, FSD 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 environmental issues including air quality were heard in Federal Court in Vancouver in May 2017, and a decision was handed down at the end of January 2018, allowing the project to proceed. In the meantime, Fraser Grain Terminal Ltd. submitted a project permit application to the port of Vancouver to develop a grain export facility, using an existing dock at Fraser Surrey Docks. The proposal would see construction of a grain export facility to trans-ship up to 3.5 million tonnes annually of bulk grain products including wheat, barley, oil seeds, pulses and other specialty grains. The proposed project includes the construction of 34 above ground steel storage silos, a travelling ship-loader, a semi-loop rail track, container loading facility and storage yard, rail and truck loading facility and other associated terminal infrastructure.
BHP Billiton is proposing to build an eight million tonne per year potash terminal at the docks, and the project is currently under environmental review by the Port of Vancouver. The proposed terminal would be on the site of the current container terminal at Surrey Fraser Docks. If approved, 10 trains of potash would be delivered to the docks weekly from a Saskatchewan mine by way of covered trains along the CN rain mainline through Surrey. The proposed project includes the construction of an above ground storage building, a travelling ship-loader, rail loop, rail unloading facility and transfer system and other associated terminal infrastructure. The facility would receive the potash product from BHP Billiton’s proposed Jansen Mine near Saskatoon via rail. The potash would be offloaded and transferred to the storage building using a covered conveyor system. Product would then be transferred from the storage building via covered conveyors to the ship loader and loaded on to vessels.
Pacific Coast Terminals
Established in 1929, Pacific Coast Terminal’s (PCT) was originally located in New Westminster, B.C. at the current site of the Westminster Quay Public Market, stretching west to the Scott Paper Site. For the first three decades, the company handled general cargo, including steel, wood, and refrigerated food such as apples and eggs. In 1960, PCT expanded its operations to Port Moody on Burrard Inlet and switched to handling woodchips, sulphur, potash, coal and concentrates. In the 1980’s the company changed ownership, focusing on serving Western Canadian sulphur producers and added a bulk liquid handling facility. Today, from its 43-hectare (108 acre) site in Port Moody, the company handles sulphur and potash, ethylene glycol and canola. The terminal is considered one of the world’s largest sulphur export terminals.
Capacity: Estimated total bulk solids capacity: 7 million tonnes annually
Sulphur: 1.4 tonnes annually, stored in a 220,000 tonne open-pad pile
Operates a rotary car dumper and Quadrant shiploader
Potash: New facility 2018, 1 million tonnes annually
160,000 tonne storage warehouse; Three-car bottom unloading building Quadrant shiploader
Monoethylene Glycol: 800,000 tonnes annually
Six storage tanks with 58,000 tonne capacity
40 car/spot, top unloading system; rigid marine loading arm
Estimated total bulk liquids capacity: three million tonnes annually
Super Degummed Canola Oil: 600,000 tonnes annually
34 car/spot bottom unloading system
Berths: Two berths; Berth one; Bulk liquids loading – canola and glycol
Handles up to Panamax vessels, segregated rigid loading arms
1,000 tonnes per hour loading capacity for both canola and glycol
Berth Two – solids: (sulphur and potash); handles up to Panamax vessels
Quadrant shiploader; shared system; 5,000 tonne per hour loading capacity
Rail access: Accessible by both CP Rail and CN Rail; serviced by CP Coquitlam Yard
Potash capacity; up to 177 potash cars
Sulphur capacity; up to 118 steel cars (131 aluminum cars)
Employees: 65 Full-time equivalents – including staff, foremen and longshoremen
In 2017, PCT completed its estimated $220 million expansion at the Port Moody site of a potash handling and storage facility. Modifications to the site included a railcar unloading facility; underground and above ground conveyor belts; new transfer towers; and a 263 metre-long storage warehouse with capacity for 160,000 tonnes of product. The facility is able to unload an 18,000-tonne train in just four and a half hours. Ships with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes can be loaded at the quay.
Fibreco Export Inc. is a leading global supplier of wood chips and also operates a wood fibre export terminal located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet in Port Metro Vancouver. The terminal ships wood chips and wood pellets and provides storage and handling services for B.C. wood pellet producers and others. The terminal is situated on 9.3 hectares of land, and leases 5.8 hectares of water from the Port of Vancouver
Capacity: Able to handle four different species of wood chips, with a total storage capacity of 75,000 bone dry tonnes.
Wood pellets; six storage silos, each with a capacity of 4,500 tonnes, totaling 27,000 tonnes. Pellet shed stores 18,000 tonnes bringing total wood pellet storage to 45,000 tonnes, or one handymax vessel.
Berth: Able to accommodate vessels up to 210 metres long with 12.5 metres draught and is serviced with a conveyor and shiploader. Engineering is complete for increasing the berth length to accommodate Panamax vessels when customers require it.
Rail Access: CN Rail
Employees: Not available
The Fibreco Terminal Enhancement Project proposes to enhance the terminal’s current wood pellet operations, by adding new grain export operations and remove the woodchip exporting infrastructure. The new agriproducts facility Fibreco has committed to build at Vancouver is expected to include about 43,000 tonnes of dry bulk storage capacity, a rail spot for full unit trains, and a new shiploader and expanded berth capable of loading Panamax vessels. Fibreco reached a long-term agreement with Regina-based AGT Food and Ingredients to handle bulk pulses and grains. The estimated $85 million investment will see construction of 56 new steel agricultural storage silos ranging from 12 to 18 stories and capable of handling 170,000 tonnes. Improved railcar handling and receiving equipment and rail yard improvements would make loading and unloading quieter, safer and more efficient. Fibreco is no stranger to bulk export, having moved wood chips and wood pellets from its Vancouver terminal to pulp and paper manufacturers worldwide on behalf of its stakeholders in the B.C. forestry sector since 1979. The company more recently also began shipping canola meal pellets.