Canada’s largest container terminal just got a whole lot bigger.
On January 18, Global Container Terminals and Port Metro Vancouver officially opened a third berth at the Deltaport terminal at Roberts Bank in Delta, British Columbia.
Deltaport currently handles approximately 45 percent of the containerized cargo that moves through Canada’s west coast and more than half of the containers passing through Port Metro Vancouver. With the addition of a third berth, those numbers are expected to climb.
The $400-million expansion took nearly three years to build.
The berth itself is 430 metres long. At low tide, it provides vessels with 52 feet of clearance.
It features three of the first dual-hoist quad cranes in the Western hemisphere, each of which is capable of handling two 40-foot containers per lift.
A total of 20 hectares of new container storage facilities were added to the terminal to accommodate the berth.
The new facilities are intended to send throughput soaring. The expansion increases the terminal’s annual capacity by 50 percent, from 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 1.8 million TEUs.
Because of this, officials expect the third berth to support 356 full-time jobs.
A major undertaking
Construction on the third berth began in January 2007.
Creating the new space was a major undertaking. Approximately 356,000 cubic metres of sand and 14,500 tonnes of asphalt were used to form the base of the third berth’s apron.
Much of the materials used for construction were moved to the site by barge, which officials estimate eliminated 650,000 trips by dump trucks.
By the time activity wrapped up in December 2009, a total of 640 person-years of employment had been devoted to the project.
Measures were put into place to make the development as environmentally sustainable as possible. Stakeholders spent nearly $25 million on habitat compensation and long-term monitoring of the local ecosystem.
In addition, Port Metro Vancouver provided $2 million in funding to the Corporation of Delta for community amenities and to help revitalize the local waterfront area of Ladner Village.
Efforts to reduce the effects of the construction on the local community were successful, according to Lois Jackson, mayor of the Corporation of Delta.
“[W]e have been extremely pleased by the efforts made by Port Metro Vancouver and Global Container Terminals to minimize the impact of the Deltaport third berth construction work on the local community and coastal environment, and in addressing community concerns relating to their long-term operation of the new berth, particularly with respect to traffic congestion and air emissions,” Jackson said.
A grand opening
At the January 18 opening, officials were on hand to welcome Hapag Lloyd’s Shanghai Express, the first vessel to be unloaded and reloaded at the third berth. The vessel measures 321 metres in length and can hold up to 7,506 TEUs.