Prince Rupert, British Columbia – (September 8, 2017): 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.
Prince Rupert is one of the only major ports in the world to not offer marine fuelling 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 fuelling 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 fuelling 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 fuelling 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 fuelling service. Types of vessels that visit the Port include cruise ships, cargo ships, ferries, fishing vessels and private boats. The scope of this service focuses 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, fuelling 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 fuelling 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 fuelling 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.
About Wolverine Terminals
Wolverine Terminals ULC is a Calgary, Alberta-based company focused on the safe and efficient development of energy-related marine terminals at key ports in Canada and the U.S. Wolverine’s experienced team has the resources and a strong track record of building and operating safe, environmentally responsible and successful energy service businesses.