Friday, May 8, 2015

Metro Vancouver Plans New Container Terminal

By Mark Edward Nero

Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s largest seaport, has filed an Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed new container terminal at Roberts Bank in Delta, BC on Canada’s west coast.

The new Roberts Bank Terminal 2, along with expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert and other container terminals in Vancouver, would provide needed space for growth, according to the port. Forecasts have shown that demand for goods shipped in containers is growing and it’s expected container terminals on B.C.’s coast will be at capacity by the early 2020s.

“The region is running out of room to manage growing Canadian trade with Asia,” Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver said in a statement. “The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project will ensure demand can be met while providing important economic benefits to B.C. and Canada. We look forward to the upcoming review of our environmental assessment by an independent panel.”

The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project would provide 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container capacity to meet forecasted growth in Canadian export and import trade. It has three main components:

• Development of land and construction of a deep-sea marine terminal adjacent to the existing Roberts Bank terminals

• Widening of the existing Roberts Bank causeway to accommodate road and rail infrastructure and

• Expansion of the existing Roberts Bank tug basin to accommodate the existing and an additional tug boat contractor.

The Environmental Impact Statement documents four years of scientific study and consultation with regulators, Aboriginal groups, local government and the public to assess the potential environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects of the terminal’s construction and operation. The conclusion: effects of the project, following the implementation of mitigation, are not expected to significantly affect the environment.

The EIS now becomes the subject of a federal environmental assessment, including a review by an independent review panel, and includes multiple opportunities for public comment.

Construction could begin in 2018 and would take about five-and-a-half years to complete, according to the port. The project would be funded entirely by Port Metro Vancouver and the private sector and would require no tax dollars. The construction phase will create 12,700 person-years of employment, and its operation would support approximately 12,400 full-time jobs on an ongoing basis.