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Coal expansion approved for North Vancouver's Neptune terminals
Port Metro Vancouver has given Neptune Bulk Terminals the green light to double its coal export facilities in North Vancouver.
The Port made the announcement Wednesday, saying it had approved a pair of expansion applications from Neptune that could increase the Burrard Inlet facility's coal handling capacity from nine million tonnes today to 18 million tonnes in as little as two years.
“Balancing the Port’s mandate to facilitate Canada’s trade and taking into consideration technical and environmental information, as well as municipal, community and First Nations input, Port Metro Vancouver has made an informed decision to approve both Neptune project permits,” the Port said in a release Wednesday.
Neptune had applied to replace one of two existing ship loaders and to build a second dumper to handle the higher volumes of coal that will continue to come in by rail from Fernie, B.C. and get shipped to markets in Asia.
The Port is still reviewing a similar application to build a brand new coal facility at north Surrey’s Fraser Surrey Docks. If granted, the two expansions combined will make Port Metro Vancouver the largest exporter of coal in North America.
Both projects have come under scrutiny lately from environmental groups who say the increased export and use of coal adds to the problems of pollution and global warming.
Neptune will take the rest of the year to do an intensive engineering review before beginning the build-out of its coal port expansion in 2014.