Centerm Expansion Project: Preliminary comment period to 12 Feb 2016 (Fri). Crab Water for Life Society comments.

Crab Park at Portside 2

Image showing Crab Park at Portside as regards Canterm deevlopment

(CityHallWatch has received a copy of this public comment from the Crab Water for Life Society and posts it here with the author’s permission. NEW: See link to a related Vancouver Sun article, with excerpts, at bottom.)

DP World has submitted a “project permit application to increase the number of containers that can be handled at the existing Centennial terminal by approximately two-thirds on Port Metro Vancouver land.”

Centerm was purchased by Arab investors from Port Metro Vancouver. In April 2015, media reported that DP World Limited “is already a significant investor in Canada, as the operator of the Centerm terminal in Port Metro Vancouver. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, commented: ‘We are delighted to extend our global footprint with a second terminal in Canada.’ Website:

The current deadline for pubic input to Port Metro Vancouver is Friday, February 12, 2016. Click here for details on the consultation and how to provide pubic comment (text copied further below, for convenience):

CRAB Park Water for Life Society logoFebruary 4th 2016

Attention: Centerm Expansion Project Preliminary Comment Period to February 12 2016
Letter in submission as alternative to online feedback
Re: Impact on Crab Park at Portside
To: Port Metro Vancouver

Crab-Water for Life Society, the founding group for the original creation of this seven acre significant public green space, Crab Park at Portside, has serious concerns about environmental impacts from the proposed Centerm Expansion.

Our park has been open since July 27th 1989 and is an important community amenity to this day, that our group worked towards, advocated and made a reality.

Attached please find an image locating Crab Park at Portside over one of your illustrations of the proposed expansion.

For instance we have environmental concerns about the interference of tidal flows by the Centerm expansion. There is a storm sewer outfall at the immediate western edge of Crab Park. We have health concerns about the future water quality e.g. increased coliform microbial density counts. In the summer, people and dogs, swim and wade in the beach area. We would request the City of Vancouver’s Health Department to do a preliminary study.

Further we have concerns regarding visual impacts of the Centerm expansion encroaching on Crab Park e.g. expanding in to the line of sight of visitors to the park.

We would like to know what the potential noise impacts would be on both the park and nearby residential buildings, especially from the rail expansions. Can the community be assured that no dangerous goods will be part of the Centerm expansion?

We would like to receive feedback on this letter from all parties addressed.

Don Larson, President,
Crab-Water for Life Society

cc Mayor and City Council
Vancouver Park Board


Text from Port Metro Vancouver website, as of 9-Feb-2016

Centerm Expansion Project

Project status

Permit under preliminary review

Port Metro Vancouver’s Centerm Expansion Project team (the applicant) has advised Port Metro Vancouver that it plans to submit a project permit application to increase the number of containers that can be handled at the existing Centennial terminal by approximately two-thirds on Port Metro Vancouver land. The Centerm Expansion Project team is working with DP World Vancouver to develop the project.

As part of the preliminary review phase of the Project and Environmental Review process, Port Metro Vancouver requires applicant to host a preliminary comment period for 20 business days to seek feedback from the public, stakeholders and Aboriginal groups on the proposed project and scope of technical studies.  This preliminary comment period is required prior to the submission of a complete project permit application to Port Metro Vancouver. Centerm Expansion Project’s preliminary comment period runs from January 18 to February 12, 2016.

Upon completion of the preliminary comment period, the applicant will be required to submit a public consultation summary report and consideration report, which outlines how comments were considered. These reports will be available on both Port Metro Vancouver and Centerm Expansion Project’s website. Port Metro Vancouver will consider the comments received during the preliminary comment period to determine final application submission requirements for the proposed project.  A second stage of public consultation will be undertaken during the Application Review Phase.

You are invited to provide your comments and feedback about the project during the preliminary comment period by visiting Port Talk.

Contact information

For questions regarding Port Metro Vancouver’s Project and Environmental Review process, please contact Gord Tycho, Senior Planner, Port Metro Vancouver by email or phone at 604.665.9561. To learn more about the proposed project, please go to the Centerm Expansion Projectwebsite or contact Tanya Howes, Communications Advisor, Centerm Expansion Project by email or phone at 604.665.9577.



Port Metro Vancouver expansion would boost container capacity by two-thirds: $320-million project proposed for Centerm terminal

By Matthew Robinson, Vancouver Sun, 11-Feb-2016

Some excerpts below. Please see Vancouver Sun for full article.

  • Port Metro Vancouver is planning a major expansion for Centerm — one of the largest container terminals in the region.
  • About 20 per cent of container goods shipped through the city are already handled at Centerm and if the $320-million project goes ahead next year, container capacity at the Burrard Inlet terminal would be boosted by two-thirds by 2019. It’s a big jump, but according to the latest plans, that extra capacity can be won with a relatively small increase in overall footprint.
  • Most of the gains would come through densified rail capacity and a reworked container storage area, said Cliff Stewart, Port Metro’s vice-president of infrastructure.
  • Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, followed by the Port of Montreal. During the past five years, Port Metro added the equivalent of a Port of Montreal in throughput, and in the next five to 10 years, it will add the equivalent of another Port of Montreal, Stewart said.
  • The preliminary plan for Centerm is to extend the container and intermodal yard westward with a larger wharf, rock dikes and earth fill. 
  • Expansion eastward would make room for more containers, a new entry gate, more parking space and an administrative building. A fifth rail track is also planned for the terminal, as is a seventh quay crane.
  • … The project is headed by Port Metro in partnership with Centerm’s operator DP World Vancouver, a subsidiary of DP World, which runs 70 terminals in 31 countries on six continents. DP World is listed on Nasdaq Dubai and led by CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, a citizen of United Arab Emirates.
  • … Though the proposed change in footprint is relatively small, Don Larson, president of Crab-Water for Life Society, has concerns with the proposal. In particular, Larson worries that extending the terminal westward would encroach on Crab Park, the popular Downtown Eastside green space he helped create a few decades ago.
  • “We wanted a simple, natural view park, but one where you could put your hands and feet in the water,” Larson said.
  • For Larson it comes down to a few key issues: the potential loss of sight lines, increased noise and water pollution and interference of tidal flows near the park.
  • … Godfrey Tait, a park board spokesman, said parks staff were incorporating their own feedback on the proposal into the city’s formal response.



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