BC green lights new liquid fuels export terminal

Vopak project in Prince Rupert gets provincial OK, still awaits federal approval

Artist's rendering of storage tanks for Vopak Pacific Canada's proposed bulk fuels export terminal in Prince Rupert. | Vopak

An $885 million liquid fuels export terminal on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert has gotten the green light from the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

Should it get federal approval as well, it would be the second bulk fuels export terminal in Prince Rupert. The other is the AltaGas (TSX:ALA) propane export terminal.

The Vopak Pacific Canada terminal would export propane as well as other liquid fuels, like diesel, gasoline and methanol.

The fuels would arrive in Prince Rupert by rail and be stored at Vopak’s proposed new bulk liquids storage facility on Ridley Island.

Vopak has estimated the project would cost $885 million to build over a period of two years and employ 250 people during construction. It would employ 39 people once in operation.

The project has been the subject of a provincial environmental review that has taken nearly four years. The project entered the BC Environmental Assessment process in July 2018. On Wednesday, the B.C. Minister of Environment, George Heyman, issued a provincial environmental certificate.

Conditions attached to the provincial certificate include:

  • developing a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan;
  • working with the local community and First Nations to address potential adverse effects on community services, infrastructure and well-being; and
  • participating in initiatives at the request of the province to manage potential cumulative effects of this and other projects in the area

The project is within the shared traditional territories of six First Nations: the Gitga'at, Gitxaała, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla and Lax Kw'alaams.

“Many of the concerns identified by First Nations and the public during consultation and engagement fall under federal jurisdiction, such as rail transport and marine shipping,” the ministry of Environment says in a press release.

“Ministers have written federal regulators recommending concerns regarding the impacts of potential spills and increased rail and marine traffic be addressed in the parallel federal review process currently underway, or through other government actions.”

Vopak Pacific Canada is a Canadian subsidiary of the Dutch company, Royal Vopak N.V. The project is still in the review process with Environment and Climate Change Canada.