Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vancouver USA Port Vote Paves Way for Grain Facility Expansion

The Port of Vancouver USA has approved the demolition of three buildings near the United Grain Corporation terminal at the port, paving the way for a 60 percent capacity expansion of the grain facility.

The proposed $72 million expansion would add the capacity to handle 60,000 tons of storage for corn and soybeans as well as capacity to handle an additional 2 million tons a year of US wheat. The UGC facility currently handles an average of 3 million tons of wheat per year.

The three buildings would have needed to be removed as part of the port's West Vancouver Freight Access infrastructure project, but Tuesday's approval will see an earlier removal of the structures, allowing UGC to move forward sooner with the grain facility expansion project.

The buildings slated for removal include a warehouse, a port office and a restroom facility and are located on the port’s Terminal 2 adjacent to the grain terminal.
Tony Flagg, president of UGC, cited the recent completion of the Columbia River channel deepening project as one of the reasons behind the proposed expansion.

According to port officials, because the shipping channel depth was increased from 40 to 43 feet during the deepening project, approximately 7,200 tons of additional grain can be loaded onto each vessel calling at the Port of Vancouver.

"The ability to accommodate larger ships carrying heavier cargo loads makes the port and the U.S. farmers who ship their grain through the port more competitive in the global marketplace," said the port in a statement following Tuesday's vote.