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Vopak Pacific Canada

Vopak Development Canada Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Vopak, is investigating the opportunity to construct, own and operate a new bulk liquids storage facility in Prince Rupert, British Columbia (BC). 

Vopak Pacific Canada (the Project) is proposed to be located on industrial-zoned land on Ridley Island within the lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA). The site benefits from direct railway access and ample deep water access to the Pacific Ocean. The purpose of the Project is to provide berthing and loading facilities for bulk liquid cargo. Canadian products such as methanol, diesel and propane are largely landlocked and in need of enhanced market access. Due to the shortage of market access many products cannot reach international markets, where there is a strong demand. The Project provides much needed tidewater access to global markets around the world. Methanol, for example, is in high demand in China for use as fuel additive and manufacturing. Diesel and gasoline are used for transportation (cars, boats and trucks) and propane is used for heating or other industrial applications.

The Project is expected to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Clean Petroleum Products (CPP) (i.e. diesel and/or gasoline) and methanol. All products will be transported from BC and Alberta to the Project via the existing Canadian National Railway line. Customers of Vopak will be responsible for bringing the product to site and for shipping the product from the jetty to markets around the world.

The Project will include the construction, operation and decommissioning of the bulk liquids storage facility, including a jetty. Vopak will build the Project and manage the day-to-day operations of the facility. The facility will operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. 

Following regulatory approval, the two-year construction period is expected to start in late 2021.

Contact us
For more information or questions, please email us at: 

Two virtual open houses will be held on November 24 and 26 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm PST. A 45-day public comment period on the Application has begun and will run until December 30, 2020 at midnight, PST. All written comments received by online form or mail during this time period in relation to the Application will be considered. More information here.

Further resources

How it will work
Products will be delivered via unit trains of approximately 100 rail cars at the northeast section of the PRPA Road Railway Utility Corridor. The expected number of rail cars at full capacity is approximately 240 per day. From the rail unloading area, all products will be pumped uphill toward the manifold and tank storage area.

The propane will arrive by rail in a pressurized state. Rail cars will be unloaded into temporary pressurized storage bullets after which it will be transferred through a refrigeration unit into refrigerated storage to be stored at approximately -42 degrees Celsius. All products will be stored at atmospheric pressure in tanks that are specifically designed for the product type and which will meet or exceed the applicable Canadian standards and any applicable regulations and will incorporate the best available technology.

Electric motor-driven pumps will transfer the products through the pipes and loading arms from the storage tanks to the vessels. It is anticipated that vessel loading operations will occur approximately once every three days, which at full capacity results in approximately 150 vessels per year depending on customer demand. The jetty will be able to accommodate vessels of up to 85,000 cubic meters at two berths with a maximum draft of 14.5 meters. Vessels will be loaded at up to 3,000 cubic meters per hour and will typically be at berth for approximately 40 hours.

Project Benefits

- Diversifying product and economic activity at the Port of Prince Rupert.
- Providing access for Canadian products to markets around the world.
- A local-first procurement strategy to increase the potential for local Indigenous and community businesses to participate in the Project.
- Providing skills training and employment opportunities to local First Nations.

Vopak Pacific Canada by Numbers

- $278 million in revenue to federal and provincial governments
- 250 full-time workers during construction
- 3,600 indirect or induced full-time jobs per year of construction
- 39 full-time workers during operations
- $62 million purchased from local suppliers during construction 
- $3.5 million per year purchased from local suppliers during operation

Approvals & Consultation
Through our actions, we strive to develop respectful, positive, and long-lasting relationships with First Nations and local communities, in order to develop shared understanding and mutual benefit.

Consultation for this Project has been guided by our commitment to providing meaningful opportunities for input and by the requirements of provincial and federal regulatory authorities. These obligations shaped the development of our Indigenous Consultation Plan.

- We began our public consultation in 2018. 
- First Nations representatives will be involved in each stage of the planning, construction, operation and decommissioning of this Project.
- In accordance with regulatory order (Section 11 Order), we are consulting six Indigenous Nations: Gitga’at First Nation, Gitxaała Nation, Kitselas First Nation, Kitsumkalum First Nation, Lax Kw’alaams Band and Metlakatla First Nation.
- Consultation activities have included introductory letters and meetings, information sharing, providing advanced copies of the Project Description and seeking and integrating input, and capacity funding discussions.
- We formed a Working Group involving representatives of Indigenous Nations, federal, provincial and local government agencies, was established for the Project. 

Regulatory Processes
This project is undergoing a systematic, inclusive and evidence-based regulatory review.

- The environmental aspects of the Project will be reviewed by federal authorities under section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office under the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act. 
- The environmental assessment of the Project is being conducted by the PRPA and B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), with both agencies seeking to coordinate their environmental assessments.
- PRPA and EAO are inviting the public to submit comments on the Project, which can be submitted via an online form on the EPIC website or via email at Comments only need to be submitted once to either PRPA or the EAO to be considered in both the provincial and federal environmental assessments.
Two virtual open houses will be held on November 24 and 26 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm PST.
- A 45-day public comment period on the Application started on November 16 and end on December 30, 2020 at midnight, PST.
- Vopak initiated the process of engaging and consulting with First Nations, representatives of local governments and regulatory authorities in early 2018.

Safety & Environment

As a service provider, Vopak’s role and responsibility is to provide safe, efficient and clean liquid bulk storage and handling services. Our purpose is to store vital products with care. A such, we abide by existing rules and regulations as a minimum and adopt best practices whenever possible. And we explore ways to facilitate the introduction of more sustainable technologies, processes and products. Care for safety and the environment is an integral part of the Vopak Values and Sustainability Policy.

The Project will be built and operated to the highest standards, following Vopak’s fundamentals and safety standards, Canadian regulations, and international quality and safety standards to ensure the safety of our employees, neighbors and the surrounding communities.

Suppliers & Contractors

We have a local-first procurement strategy to increase the potential for local Indigenous and community businesses to participate in this Project. We anticipate purchasing about $62 million from local suppliers during construction and about $3.5 million from local suppliers annually during operation.

Our three-stage procurement process will fairly evaluate the products and services offered by contractors using a threshold system that favors safe, stable, and local and Indigenous-owned and run businesses and ventures.

Vopak invites interested suppliers and contractors to fill out a vendor information form which can be accessed through this link.

Vopak will review submitted forms and will keep it on file for consideration for future work based on the capabilities of the respective vendor.