Port eyes double-sized oil tankers
Friday, 17 February 2012 | 00:00
Your pristine view of Burrard Inlet could one day include oil tankers twice as big as the ones there now, with Port Metro Vancouver studying "Suezmax" ships.
It again has oil opponents burning mad.
Vancouver Green Councillor Adriane Carr is appalled by the port's move.
"I think they're way out of line," she says. "What we need to do is develop the jobs and the economic base in the renewable energy sector in weaning ourselves off oil. That's the smart economic path."
Port CEO Robin Silvester says the ships will not necessarily carry oil exclusively. Dry products like grain or sulphur may be shipped.
He says the Suezmax ships would carry twice the volume of product they do now.
"A large to medium-size ship if you like," he explains. "They have a capacity of up to 200,000 tonnes. That's smaller than some of the ships we handle for dry bulk cargo in the port, but larger than the current tankers that are handling liquid bulk and crude oil."
Silvester admits public opinion is the biggest hurdle but insists it's just being studied and if anything moves forward there will be extensive community and environmental consultation.
"Our role here, as the port, is fundamentally to make sure Canada has the ability to trade the commodities it wants to trade with Asia in a reliable, efficient, safe, and environmentally secure manner," he says. "That's our job."
Silvester says the study was commissioned by the port independently, and is not connected to Kinder Morgan, which was granted long-term contracts to move 79,000 barrels of oil per day through the Trans Mountain pipeline to its shipping terminal in Burnaby at the end of last year.
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