The rail upgrades will increase the number of railcars that can be unloaded simultaneously, from 16 to 24. This will allow West Coast Reduction Ltd. to increase its canola handling capacity by an estimated 50 percent. The project also involves upgrading the piping infrastructure to handle additional capacity.
The project will improve transportation of agricultural products, particularly canola oil, being exported from Western Canada to Asia-Pacific markets.
Phases 1 and 2 of the Rail Unloading Improvement Project involved upgrades to the rail lines and to the piping system between the rail lines and pump house. These are now complete. Phase 3, which involves upgrades to the piping system between the pump house and the marine vessel berths, will begin shortly. Construction is scheduled to be fully completed by March 2015.
The total cost of the Rail Unloading Improvement project is approximately CA$11 million (US$10.3 million), with the Government of Canada contributing up to CA$2.8 million (US$2.6 million) under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund (APGCTIF), which is part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) and focuses on infrastructure projects. The balance of the project funding will be provided by West Coast Reduction Ltd.
"In partnership with West Coast Reduction Ltd., our government's investments in the Rail Unloading Improvement project will not only improve the efficiency of the transportation network, but will facilitate the movement of agricultural products exported from western Canadian producers to Asia-Pacific markets more rapidly through the Asia-Pacific Gateway, while alleviating congestion at Port Metro Vancouver.