Beginning phase of 13 km jet fuel pipeline to YVR underway
'The city had a lot of objections to the project'
A consortium of major airlines serving Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is building a 13-kilometre underground jet fuel pipeline through Richmond to YVR, saying the current 40-year-old system is at maximum capacity.
Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC) will also build a new marine terminal at the south arm of the Fraser River to handle fuel shipments.
And a fuel receiving facility housing 6 storage tanks with a capacity of 80 million litres will be built on Port Metro Vancouver Land in Richmond, as part of the the $150 million project.
But Richmond says the new pipeline isn't necessary.
"We think that with the existing pipeline, and potentially some upgrades, it could more than meet their current and future needs for capacity," said Ted Townsend, a spokesperson for the City of Richmond.
Townsend said the review process was flawed.
"The environmental review process didn't require them (the government of B.C., and the federal government) to present alternatives and to consider alternatives. And there was very little input from the city in terms of being able to influence the project's scope."
The Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation said it undertook a five-year environmental protection process in consultation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment Canada, the Ministry of Environment and Port Metro Vancouver, among others,"to develop specific protection and response strategies," according to its website.
The current pipeline delivers jet fuel from a refinery in Burnaby.
VAFFC's website says it's also importing about 1,000 tanker-truck deliveries each month from a refinery in Washington to keep up with the need.
"The new marine terminal and pipeline will ensure the safe and secure supply of jet fuel to meet the long-term needs at YVR," said a statement from VAFFC.
Environmental assessment certificate granted
In 2013, the B.C. government and the Port of Vancouver, acting on behalf of the federal government granted the company an environmental assessment certificate that allowed it to proceed to the permitting phase.
The development permit to allow the terminal facility to be built on city land will be before council for consideration in the near future, with no date set.
Construction is already underway on the project's storage facility on port lands.