Wolverine Terminals is currently constructing and will 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.
The Port is one of the only major global ports to not offer marine fuelling service for cargo ships. In the absence of marine fuelling services at the Port, cargo ships must carry enough fuel to make a round trip or detour to an alternative West Coast port (including the Port of Vancouver) to fuel. The additional fuel carried to make the round trip displaces potential cargo and drives up shipping cost.
In 2020, 537 vessels visited the Port and that number is forecasted to grow. Having a local fuel service will assist in achieving this forecasted growth. Types of vessels that visit the Port include cruise ships, cargo ships, ferries, fishing vessels and private boats. The scope of this project includes fuel associated with cargo ships and ferries.
Aside from the lack of fuel the Port has many strategic advantages that would help support future growth. The Port 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 and significant capacity to increase traffic volumes.
The Port was designated a National Harbour in 1972 and is under the jurisdiction of the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA). Established under the Canada Marine Act, the PRPA is mandated to support Canada’s trade activity by facilitating and expanding the movement of cargo and passengers within the Port. The PRPA would be the main regulatory body responsible for reviewing the proposed project and ensuring it meets all rules and regulations relating to the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible handling of shipping traffic. The proposed project will be assessed to determine if there will be potential physical, biological or human (social) effects and what measures are needed to eliminate or mitigate potential adverse impacts.
- Construction of new mooring site at an existing marine industrial location to secure fuel barges:
- the marine berth will be the mooring site for the rail barge and transfer of fuel to the distribution barge
- the rail barge will only move between the marine berth and the Aquatrain Terminal
- the distribution barge will move between the marine berth and fuelling locations within the Port
- Operation of a marine fuelling service that involves the:
- transfer of rail cars on and off a purpose-built rail barge at the existing under-utilized Aquatrain Terminal
- tug transport of the rail barge (approximately 400 meters) between the Aquatrain Terminal and the fuel service mooring site
- transfer of marine fuel from rail cars into fuel storage tanks located within the rail barge and within the fuel distribution barge
- transfer of marine fuel from rail barge to the fuel distribution barge
- tug transport of the fuel distribution barge between the fuel service mooring site and approved locations within the Port
- transfer of fuels from the fuel distribution barge into large cargo vessels