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Prince Rupert Marine Fuels Project

Prince Rupert

Wolverine Terminals marine fuelling service project is a marine fuel delivery service for the Port of Prince Rupert that will enable cargo vessels anchored or berthed in the Port to fuel locally. Currently, the Port of Prince Rupert does not offer marine fuelling services for cargo vessels, and ships that call on the Port must carry enough fuel to make a round trip or detour to an alternative west coast port for fuel.

The current design includes three components: a marine berth, rail barge and a fuel distribution barge. The proposed service includes the construction of a marine berth and the operation of a marine-based fueling service in the harbour.  The marine berth would be located at a site adjacent to Westview Terminal in the inner harbour, providing direct access to the existing Aquatrain Terminal.

Operational components of the service would include:

• Loading rail tank cars onto a rail-accessible fuel storage barge at the existing Aquatrain Terminal.

• Towing and mooring the fuel storage barge to the nearby marine berth.

• Offloading marine fuel from the rail cars into the fuel storage barge.

• Transferring the marine fuel to a fuel distribution barge.

• Delivering fuel to ships anchored or berthed in the Port harbour via the fuel distribution barge.

Project Timeline
Milestone Date
Community consultation process commenced October 2017
Regulatory approval and final engineering complete Mid 2018
Construction of the marine berth Early 2019
Off-site fabrication of the two barges Early 2019
Delivery and commissioning of the barges Mid 2019

Project Update

October 5, 2017

Public Comment Period Opens

In accordance with Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, a federal environmental affects assessment of the project is currently underway, and being conducted by federally responsible authorities.

A 30-day public comment period is now open. This public comment period is an opportunity for all stakeholders to provide input and feedback on the proposed Prince Rupert Marine Fuel Services project. The public is invited to comment on the Project Description, a document that includes information on the proponent and an overview of the Project.

The project description is available for review at www.wolverineterminals.com, and written comments can be submitted via email to info@wolverineterminals.com before November 5, 2017.

Wolverine Terminals will be holding open houses in Port Edward and Prince Rupert in October to provide members of the public with an opportunity to learn more about the project. Representative of the proponent will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the project in detail.

Prince Rupert – October 17, 2017 - 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. – Crest Hotel - 222 1st Avenue West

Port Edward – October 19, 2017 - 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Community Centre Municipal Complex - 770 Pacific Avenue

Project Update

September 8, 2017

Wolverine Terminals Proposes marine fueling service for Prince Rupert

Wolverine Terminals ULC today announced it is proposing to construct and operate a marine fuel delivery service for the Port of Prince Rupert that would enable cargo vessels anchored or berthed in the Port to fuel locally. Please see www.wolverineterminals.com for proposed facility location.

Prince Rupert is one of the only major ports in the world to not offer marine fueling services for cargo ships, a significant competitive disadvantage. Cargo ships visiting the Port of Prince Rupert must plan to carry enough fuel to make a round trip or detour to an alternative West Coast port to fuel. The additional weight of the fuel carried to make the round trip displaces potential cargo and drives up shipping costs.

“With the introduction of marine fueling operations, the Port of Prince Rupert will become a full service port capable of supporting capacity for growth. It really is a game-changer for Port operations,”said Serge Bisson, President, Wolverine Terminals.

Currently, marine fuel supplied in the Port of Prince Rupert and the surrounding areas is occasionally transported from refineries in Vancouver or Puget Sound via tug and barge through the Inside Passage. The high cost of transportation of marine fuel via tug makes fueling at the Port less economic, which is one of the reasons it is not a service provided today. Wolverine would solve this problem. Designed with the latest marine fueling technology, the fuel would be supplied via rail with the distribution being marine based.

In 2016, 461 vessels visited the Port. That number is forecasted to grow significantly, further compounding the requirement for a fueling service. Types of vessels that visit the Port include cruise ships, cargo ships, ferries, fishing vessels and private boats. The scope of this service focusses on volumes associated with cargo ships and ferries.

The Port has many strategic advantages that would help support future growth. Prince Rupert is the closest North American port to Asia and has the deepest natural harbour in North America. The Port also has direct access to a rail network with connections to markets across North America. Prince Rupert’s extensive rail network access means that fuel can be sourced from anywhere at the best price available across North America.

“For decades, fueling facilities at the Port of Prince Rupert have been contemplated but never achieved due to economics,” said Bisson. “While the demand for fuel is substantial, it was below the economic threshold of the facilities required. Our company has developed the technology and processes to safely and efficiently provide on-site fueling capacity at current volumes in Prince Rupert.”

Wolverine Terminals is conducting an environmental effects evaluation for a proposed storage location in Prince Rupert’s inner harbour, while engaging with First Nations and potential stakeholders as part of their regulatory approval application to the Prince Rupert Port Authority. In the coming months Wolverine will share further information about the proposed marine fueling service with the community, host an open house event, and seek community feedback. Should the proposed service receive its necessary regulatory approvals, the Prince Rupert Marine Fuels Service will be constructed and operational by mid-2019. 

Project Statistics
12,500 MT
Volume capacity of the Fuel Storage Barge
135 M x 32 M
Length and width of the Fuel Storage Barge
13 full time positions
Approximate employees required for vessel movement and ship-to-ship bunkering operations