Much of the coal now exported through Port Metro Vancouver goes through Westshore Terminals loading facility at Roberts Bank in Delta.

Port Metro Vancouver coal shipments on record pace

More crude oil tankers also loaded in Burnaby in first six months of 2013

Controversial shipments of coal through Metro Vancouver are on pace to set a new record this year and more crude oil tankers also loaded in the first half of 2013, according to port statistics.

Just over two-thirds of the 18.2 million tonnes of coal shipped out in the first six months of the year was B.C.-mined metallurgical coal used in steelmaking, while the remainder – 5.5 million tonnes – was thermal coal from the U.S.

“It’s the strongest first half we’ve ever seen,” said Port Metro Vancouver president and CEO Robin Silvester, adding coal exports are up nine per cent compared to the midpoint of 2012.

The increase comes without a decision yet on whether the port authority will approve a proposed new terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks that could add up to eight million tonnes of annual coal-handling capacity.

Nor is there any timeline for making the decision, Silvester said.

Work continues to address outstanding questions, he said, including potential health impacts from coal dust that may escape.

He said a report is being prepared by a third-party expert with expertise in human health impacts from coal and once complete it will be provided for review to area medical health officers, who have pressed for more study.

“We hope that will move the debate from being somewhat speculative to being very objective,” Silvester said.

Climate change activists have sought to block more coal exports, particularly U.S. coal from Wyoming.

Crude oil exports are also up so far, with 33 tankers loaded in the first half compared to 23 in the first six months of 2012.

Most of the tankers loading crude oil sent through the Trans Mountain pipeline to  Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby were bound for California, Silvester said, adding some of that comes back to B.C. as refined petroleum.

Tanker numbers fluctuate each year, he said, depending on how much oil is piped to Washington State refineries or used by the Chevron refinery in Burnaby.

Cruise ship passenger numbers are also up more than 20 per cent.

Overall cargo handling at the port is up 6.3 per cent and three per cent more containers were moved.

Silvester said the numbers reflect strong demand for B.C. resources, despite less rapid growth of the Chinese economy.

Just Posted

Surrey firefighters not among 267 being sent to battle Alberta wildfires

‘We haven’t been called upon to be deployed,’ Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis told the Now-Leader on Tuesday

Surrey man charged with impersonating cop in Newton

Harmit Johal, 42, is charged with one count of impersonating a peace officer and two counts of fraud

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

Mother of accused charged in connection to Surrey teen’s murder

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Bhavkiran Dhesi

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read