Container terminal operator launches info campaign

The operator of the Deltaport container terminal continues to be a thorn in the side of the Port of Vancouver, launching a #BetterDeltaport information and awareness campaign to advocate for what it says is a fair review of expansion alternatives at Roberts Bank.

To strengthen and sustain trade, Canada needs container terminal capacity, says GCT, which has launched an information website at betterdeltaport.ca.

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“We are at a cross roads and must decide how we build needed container terminal capacity, where we build it, and who will pay for it…Global Container Terminals has been trying, without success, to get the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to review its proposal for GCT Deltaport that seeks to add capacity at Roberts Bank by expanding the existing terminal footprint incrementally. The project would deliver an estimated two million TEUs of new capacity through the addition of a fourth berth (DP4),” GCT explains.

“We wanted the VFPA, our regulator and landlord, to give fair consideration to a less expensive, less risky to taxpayers, and more environmentally-conscious alternative, which they failed to do, choosing instead to reject our project out of hand,” said Doron Grosman, president and CEO, in a company news release.

Making a presentation later this month at the federal review panel’s public hearing on the port authority’s proposed Terminal 2 project, GCT says T2 isn’t viable given changes in a number of market factors.

“It is GCT’s view that the long-term sustainability of our gateway is only achievable through careful terminal design that reflects a modern, innovative, and a more sustainable approach to planning and constructing such an expansion,” a submission by GCT stated.

The company outlines several areas of concern regarding the project rationale, assessment and the port’s environmental impact statement.

The submission goes on to raise several questions including the cumulative impacts resulting in the construction and operation of T2, as well as the enforceability of the port’s environmental mitigations.

The port authority had issued a request for bids from interested terminal operators to operator T2, which would be built on a man-made island adjacent to the existing Deltaport container terminal. The port wouldn’t allow GCT to submit a bid.

According to the Port of Vancouver, expanding the exiting Deltaport terminal is not an option for a couple of reasons, one being Fisheries and Oceans Canada having prohibited further land reclamation inland from Deltaport. Secondly, expanding Deltaport would mean one terminal operator, GCT, would control a significant majority of the market for container terminal services.

“Healthy competition is necessary to ensure users continue to pay reasonable rates to pay for reliable service,” the port states.

In a separate announcement last week, GCT said it’s investing $160 million to densify and modernize the Vanterm facility.

The public hearing on T2 began May 14 at the Tsawwassen Springs.

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