Tuesday, June 20, 2023

A few more nuggets of information delivered towards upcoming debut for Wolverine Fuelling Terminal


What will soon be the newest feature for Port Operations in Prince Rupert gained a bit of the spotlight from last week's Prince Rupert Port Authority Annual Public Meeting.

That as Port CEO and President Shaun Stevenson provided a short snapshot of the progress for the Wolverine Marine Terminal project, which has been evolving on the Prince Rupert Waterfront in the area of the old Aquatrain facility between BC Ferries and the Drax Wood Pellet Terminal.

"In the third quarter of 2022 we saw the completion of the construction of the marine Berth for the Wolverine Marine Fuelling facility in the inner harbour. 

That construction was completed, we continued to see progress on that project with the fabrication of the dedicated barges and fuel distribution systems that will be necessary to support that critical service gap that we have in the Port of Prince Rupert and enable us to fuel ships in the Port of Prince Rupert.

As important, it provides us access to fuel out of their refining capacity in the Edmonton area to meet the low sulphur eco specs that are required today and we think that's going to be a great opportunity to look to really drive down the environmental impacts of vessels  moving up and down the west coast of Canada" -- Prince Rupert Port CEO and President Shaun Stevenson on the Wolverine Marine Fuelling Terminal at the 2023 PRPA APM

The refuelling element coming for the Port through the Wolverine Marine Fuels terminal also made for a question from the floor from Larry Hope, that during the Question and Answer portion of the Thursday session. with Brian Friesen VP of Trade Development and Real Estate revisiting some of the key timelines that had been noted by Shaun Stevenson. 

Mr  Friesen offering up an update on the status of the barges under construction in Vietnam and how they would be incorporated into the Wolverine Facility.

He stressed how the ability to service vessels in the Port environment would be an addition to the services offered by the Port and how that could add to the locational advantage for the Port.

"Wolverine has been at this for quite some time, last year even the year prior, they concluded their environmental review of the project.

In terms of project updates.

Last year they concluded the construction of the marine berth and then just recently over the last several months at a shipyard in Vietnam have concluded the construction of two large barges associated with the fuelling and the ability to receive rail cars of low sulphur diesel.

Store it on a barge and then another barge that is focused on the distribution of those fuels. This represents a really important filling of a gap in terms of our service offering here in Port of Prince Rupert.

Until this you know facility is opened up and commissioned later this year, we've just had not had the ability to fuel vessels and at times that sort of erodes some of our locational advantage.

Particularly amongst some of our dry bulk terminals and the vessels that serve those, where they'll have to go elsewhere for  fuel in order to make the return journey across the Trans Pacific.

So really important offering our service profile as a port"

Kirk Slocombe, VP of Operations, Planning and Infrastructure provided for a short overview of the Safety and Operating elements of the terminal which is expected to ramp up on the second half of this year.

"The primary focus here is on the low sulphur fuel side of the operation.  So as Sean mentioned earlier on, it's really about you know reducing the environmental impact and ensuring that those fuels are available here in Prince Rupert.

The actual facility itself as Brian mentioned is two barges: One that is a storage barge, one is a lightering barge where the barge that is smaller delivers the fuel various vessels that require it.

Throughout their operation they have the ability to fully refuel a vessel, the challenges there will be how many times do we have to go back and forth with the smaller barge.

And so as this operation ramps up here in the second half of this year, we'll start to see what the needs and the demands are for the fuel.

But initially we see a huge focus on the low sulphur diesel, with the ability to look at additional service offerings as we move forward"

Towards Safety and environment Mr. Slocombe outlined the Port procedures in place.

"We have the strictest bunkering guidelines on the West Coast, they were developed in consultation with a number of entities.

We require full buoying of all the vessels that will be receiving the fuel, that is unusual, that is a much higher standard than what you see in other ports.

So what you'll see here is a top notch regime, we have a great supplier and we're looking forward to seeing this offering available in Prince Rupert"

Port President and CEO Shaun Stevenson followed up by noting how the new marine fuelling terminal would be an important part of the Port's in filling a service gap, noting how it was unusual for a port the size of Prince Rupert not being able to offer that service.

"This is about filling a service gap that has existed through my 25 years here.

 It's unusual for a port of our size not to have bunkering capabilities and it's been a competitive  disadvantage for some time, with vessels having to divert, you know go to Port Angeles or Vancouver  to bunker before returning to Asia.

This is also the start, we're also looking ahead at our carbon reduction plan of what we need to look at as far as  fuel transition. Whether that be methanal, or we talked about LNG potentially but really want to create that sort of capacity and use it as a base of  accelerating our decarbonization in the future.

But  that critical piece of filling that gap on not just the bunkering capability, but meeting the low sulphur spec is critically important. Because there have been all sorts of work arounds that we've seen on the West Coast, not just in Canada but on the continent, because of the lack of low sulphur fuel availability. 

And there's been other tech, you know closed loop and open loop scrubbers and other things that come out of that lack of supply.

We're going to close that supply and  move from a  service gap to a Prince Rupert competitive edge with this project"

You can review the presentations towards the facility from the PRPA video archive of their APM.

Mr. Stevenson's first overview comes at the minute 20 minute mark, the Q and A portion of the update on the facility starts at the 55 minute point.

You can get a sense of what the operation will look like from the Wolverine Terminals website page here.

Some further notes towards the facility can be found from our archive page here.

Some of our other observations on the PRPA APM can be reviewed here.

Our Archive of Port relates items is available here.

No comments:

Post a Comment