By R. Bruce Striegler

Viterra’s Pacific Elevators

Pacific Elevators is located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet and 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.

Employees: 95

Pacific Terminal handled 2.2 million tonnes of grain in 2014 and is currently undergoing facility upgrade which includes a new marine ship loader capable of loading Post Panamax vessels up to 38m beam and able to load 2,800 tonnes of grain per hour to the vessel. Ship loader will utilize a Cleveland Cascades dust control chute for handling pulse crops and provide the optimum in control of fugitive dust emissions. It is anticipated that this phase of the automation project will be completed in the fall of 2016, creating a rated throughput capacity of up to six million tonnes a year.

Viterra Inc.’s Vancouver Cascadia Terminal

Cascadia Terminal is located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet and is owned and 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.

Employees: 127

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 by 2016.

Cargill’s Vancouver Terminal

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 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

“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.”

Maher’s Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert

Maher Terminals Holding Corp. operates Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal, a state of the art container handling facility. Designed as a high volume Intermodal container transfer facility, containers are rapidly moved between vessel and rail. 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 TEUs. Container Yard able to handle 9,000 TEUs, 72 Reefer plugs. Four cranes give Fairview capacity from 750,000 containers to 850,000 TEUs.

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.

Environmental approvals have been granted by the Port of Prince Rupert for a further terminal expansion which increase the capacity to 2.3 million TEU’s. Maher Terminals has undertaken preliminary design for a second berth to quadruple the capacity to two million TEU’s and involves additional on-dock rail. In 2014 CN Rail completed a 12,000 foot siding just south of the terminal’s gate in anticipation of increased capacity, which will have an on-site storage capacity of 28,560 TEUs at five high.

Fraser Surrey Docks

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 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 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.

Western Stevedoring’s Lynnterm East and West Gate

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 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 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 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

A vital supply chain partner to many of Canada’s forestry companies, Lynnterm annually handles export of up to 1.5 million tonnes of wood pulp. Imports through the terminal have included aircraft parts for Bombardier turboprop aircraft, 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.

Richardson International Vancouver 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 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 expansion will add a new concrete grain storage facility that will hold 80,000 tonnes of grains and oilseeds. Phil Hulina, General Manager explains that as part of the expansion, the terminal has installed a new indexer to double receiving capacity from 150 railcars per day to about 300. He says some rail track has been reconfigured and the biggest part of the expansion is the two annexes which have been slipped and with further infrastructure work on-going including conveyance and electrical systems. “We are on-schedule and within budget, completion is expected fall this year.” Hulina says that when completed, the terminal will double capacity to approximately 140,000 tonnes. He adds that even as construction work proceeded in 2013/14, the terminal handled 3.8 million tonnes, and at the conclusion of the last calendar year, 4.8 million tonnes, both records.

Prince Rupert’s Ridley Terminals Inc.

Established in 1984, Ridley Terminals Inc, a federal crown corporation, originally 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

From the terminal’s third quarter (2014) report, year-to-date performance figures continue to remain lower than 2013, with expectations that Ridley Terminals will ship approximately seven million tonnes in 2014, compared to the 11.8 tonne record shipments achieved in 2013. Terminal rail unloading volumes decreased by 39.57 percent or 3,758,000 tonnes over 2013 for a total of 5,739,000 tonnes unloaded (2013: 9,497,000 tonnes).

Given poor market conditions, the current expension project to increase capacity to 25 million tonnes by the end of 2015 has been halted.

Westshore Terminals at Roberts Bank

Westshore Terminals has been handling coal for 43 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.

Employees: 300

Started in the first quarter of 2014, Westshore has embarked upon a five-year, $270 million terminal infrastructure reinvestment project which will bring major renewal to the site by demolishing the current office, warehouse and shop buildings and combine them into a new more efficient complex at the northern end of the 54 hectare site. The project is on schedule and will bring the administration, maintenance and operations personnel altogether in one location for the first time. The new complex is scheduled to be occupied in mid-2015. Westshore spokesperson Ray Dyke says that replacing one shiploader this year will free about 100,000 square feet and will contribute to an increased capacity of 36 million tonnes by 2019.

Operations are ultimately owned by Westshore Terminals Investment Corporation, a publicly owned company.

Kinder Morgan’s Vancouver Wharves

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 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; berth one with a length of 185.5m handles exports and imports of concentrates. Berth two and three, at 317 metres, handle distillates; berth four, 161.3m 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) railcar 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 railcar 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.

The 125-acre terminal has approximately 25 acres of land available for development and Tim Ayling, Director, Sales and Marketing, says the terminal is entertaining a number of proposals to expand capacity that could include Prairie fertilizer groups. In 2014, Vancouver Wharves activated an additional copper storage shed, providing a further 15,000 tonne storage facility, along with new conveyor systems. In addition, a new looped rail track to berths four and five can accommodate unit trains up to 112 cars.

Neptune Bulk Terminal

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 12.0m to 15.24m

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.