Grain and potash proposals for Fraser Surrey Docks

Big grain and potash terminal projects are proposed for Fraser Surrey Docks.

Fraser Grain Terminal has applied to construct a four million tonne per year grain terminal where an existing 500,000 tonne per year grain terminal is located. Grain would be delivered by rail with approximately 309 trains per year using the CN main line.

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The majority of grain would be loaded onto ocean going bulk carrier vessels, while approximately 600,000 tonnes would be loaded into containers and placed onto container ships or trucked to other container terminals such as Deltaport in South Delta.

The largest ships will be Panamax sized carriers which are already accommodated at Fraser Surrey Docks. It’s estimated there will be 62 ships per year.

A proposal by BHP Billiton, meanwhile, is for an eight million tonne per year potash terminal. The project would see 10 trains of potash delivered per week from a mine in Saskatchewan. The product would be loaded onto Kamsarmax sized ships, which are longer than the average Panamax vessel.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority last month accepted a project permit application from BHP.

Meanwhile, despite attempts by opponents to block it, a highly contentious plan to build a $15-million coal terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks, which had been approved by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in 2014, was given the green light by the Federal Court of Canada earlier this year. That project will see up to four million metric tonnes of American thermal coal per year sent by rail to the facility, with potential to expand that to eight million tonnes per year. The coal will be shipped to Texada Island and loaded onto barges.

According to Delta, the combined operation of the coal facility, the grain terminal and the potash terminal would be 16 million tonnes per year of bulk products being exported from Fraser Surrey Docks. Delta staff note the Port of Vancouver‘s review process does not specifically include cumulative effects.

A report to council calls for a cumulative effects assessment.

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