Vopak expects 240 liquid gas-by-rail cars per day

North Coast residents can learn more about the Ridley Island-based project at the open houses

Vopak Development Canada Inc. plans to build a gas storage facility on Ridley Island — Prince Rupert Port Authority land — for the purpose of shipping propane, diesel and methanol to customers in Asia.

It would mean even more volatile cargo riding the rails through the Bulkley Valley.

At full capacity, Vopak expects the 240 rail cars per day (60 for liquefied petroleum gas, 90 for clean petroleum products, such as diesel or gasoline, and 90 for methanol).

Although the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal by AltaGas and Vopak required a federal environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) 2012 Section 67, Vopak’s proposed energy storage facility also triggered a B.C. environmental assessment.

“I consider that Vopak Pacific Canada Project has the potential for significant adverse effects, an environmental assessment (EA) must be undertaken and an EA certificate must be issued before the Vopak Pacific Canada Project may proceed,” said Nathan Braun, executive project director for the Environmental Assessment Office, in a letter to Vopak.

The project is now under review by CEAA, under Section 67, and B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office.

There are two reasons for why it’s being considered a reviewable project: it exceeds the energy storage threshold of three petajoules of energy, and it requires dredging of an area larger than two hectares of foreshore or submerged land to build a marine port facility.

Some environmental and community groups, including SkeenaWild, Friends of Digby Island and T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation, are calling for the project to be subject to a full CEAA environmental assessment.

In a letter to the CEAA project manager, the group said the project would see the first oil (diesel oil) tankers on the North Coast and there would be “unprecedented oil-by-rail traffic volumes along CN’s tar sands to Prince Rupert rail route, which runs along the Skeena River for well over a hundred kilometers.”

In the letter to CEAA, the signatories also raise concern over oil spills while loading the vessels and the proximity to Flora Bank, a juvenile salmon habitat near the Skeena River.

At the marine facility, very large gas carriers will receive liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and handymax or panamax vessels will receive the other products, diesel or gasoline, for export. Vessels will be loaded once every three days, and the project anticipates approximately 150 vessels per year based on demand.

If the project goes through, Vopak estimates 200 jobs for the two-year construction period, and 40-50 long-term positions when the facility is up and running. The company said it will hire up to 60 per cent local employees in the construction phase and 70 per cent during operations.

Vopak has initiated the consultation process with First Nations, including Metlakatla, Lax Kw’alaams and Gitxaala Nation.

Public comment period opened Sept. 6 and will close Oct. 9.

“Vopak is committed to being a good neighbour in the communities in which it operates and looks forward to receiving input on the proposed project,” states the latest press release from the company.

READ MORE: Vopak teams up with AltaGas for propane terminal

 

shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com 

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Ramona Wilson Memorial Walk: Twenty-five years, but still no closure

“What we’re standing for today is that nobody is going to sweep this under the rug, nobody.”

Muheim class repeats 2017 award for interaction with seniors

Liliana Pesce’s Grade 4-5 class honoured by BC Retired Teachers Association

Bulkley Valley U14 boys soccer squad wins zones

The Rapids will now proceed to provincial championship in Prince George July 4-5

Donaldson announces seal coating for portions of Hwy 16, Kispiox

Two sections of road in the Bulkley Valley have had their fate sealed.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read