Prince Rupert is one of the only major ports in the world that doesn’t have a marine fueling service for cargo ships.
This means that cargo ships visiting the port must carry enough fuel to make a round trip-putting Prince Rupert at a competitive disadvantage.
Wolverine Terminal wants to change that and has proposed to construct and operate a marine fuel delivery service that would let anchored or berthed vessels fuel locally.
The reasoning behind not having a fueling station is that the fuel would have to be transported through the Inside Passage from Vancouver or the Puget Sound, but Wolverine is suggesting using one of the most invested infrastructure systems in Prince Rupert- the rail.
last year 461 vessels visited the port, a number that is forecasted to grow significantly after the expansion of the Fairview Terminal.
Being the closest North American port to Asia and the deepest natural harbour in the continent, Wolverine says it makes sense to invest in a fuelling resupply station.
President of Wolverine Terminals, Serge Bisson says, “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”.
The Calgary-based company is currently conducting environmental assessments of constructing a new mooring site near the existing Aquatrain Terminal.
- 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 fueling 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 (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
The following project schedule is subject to regulatory approval.
- Mid 2018: Regulatory approval and final engineering complete
- Early 2019: Construction of the marine berth
- Early 2019: Off-site fabrication of the two barges
- Mid-2019: Delivery and commissioning of the barges
For more information visit Wolverine’s website.