BC coal terminal berth wiped out in ship collision

by Array

VANCOUVER, Ontario—Westshore Terminals’ Berth 1 remains closed today after accident on Friday, and it will remain out of commission for the foreseeable future.

A 289m bulk carrier, the Cape Apricot, crashed into a trestle supporting a conveyor system that moved coal from the terminal to the berth. The collision destroyed approximately 100m of the conveyor system and caused approximately 30 tonnes of coal to be spilled into the harbour. It also destroyed a roadway connecting the terminal and the berth.

According to Nick Desmarais, secretary of of Westshore Terminals Investment Corp, it’s not yet known why the crash happened, He says a pilot and a captain should have been at the helm as the ship came into port. A team from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada was sent to investigate.

Damage to the Cape Apricot was negligible.

Part of Port Metro Vancouver, Westshore Terminals is a coal handling facility located in Roberts Bank, Delta, British Columbia, south of Vancouver at the US Border. It bills itself as the largest coal exporting facility by volume in Canada. In 2011 it shipped 27.3 million tonnes of coal, which set a port record.

Berth 2, the terminal’s smaller berth remains operational, although power to the berth was temporarily knocked out in the collision.

Teck Resources Limited, one of the Terminal’s main customers, says it will continue to ship through Berth 2 at Westshore, but would be shifting shipping capacity to Neptune Terminals and exploring options for moving additional tonnage to Pacific Coast Terminals and Ridley Terminals.

“Our preliminary assessment is that we will meet or exceed our sales guidance of 6.2 million tonnes for the fourth quarter and, as there is inventory space available at Westshore, we do not expect this incident to have a material impact on coal production for the fourth quarter,” the company said.

For a video and photos of the damage, click here.