Kent Spencer, The Province, November 07, 2010
Metro Vancouver residents haven't heard the last about oil-tanker traffic through Vancouver's harbour.
More ships could be coming -- and they could even be bigger.
There could also be tanker traffic up the Fraser River one day, the chief of Port Metro Vancouver has told The Province.
Chief operating officer Chris Badger would reveal few details, but said there are discussions under way about bigger ships in Vancouver, and tanker traffic on the Fraser River for the first time.
Bigger ships in Vancouver would require dredging deeper channels through the waterway, especially at the First and Second Narrows.
Most of Vancouver's oil currently goes south to California in vessels about one-third the size of super-tankers. If the oil was Chinabound, bigger vessels would be required for economic reasons.
"If the size of vessels was increased, there would be a public discussion," says Badger. "Dredging or changes to the terminal would trigger public involvement."
He also revealed an "initiative" to expand tanker traffic up the Fraser River as a part of the Gateway program to increase worldwide trade through B.C.
But he was tight-lipped about the Fraser, where few oil-related facilities currently exist.
Badger refused to say where the traffic would go, who is initiating the discussions or what stage they are at.
© The Province 2010