The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is a proposed container terminal in Delta, B.C. that is needed to ensure Canada is able to meet its trade objectives through to the mid-to-late 2030s. Independent forecasts indicate that, in addition to planned improvements to existing container facilities, a new container terminal will be needed as early as the mid-2020s to accommodate growth of goods traded in containers.
The project is undergoing a federal environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 by an independent review panel appointed by the minister of environment and climate change.
The project would include three main components:
- A new three-berth marine container terminal
- A widened causeway to accommodate additional road and rail infrastructure
- An expanded tug basin to accommodate a second tug operations contractor
The terminal would sit on 108 hectares of new industrial land, over five kilometres from shore and next to existing terminals.
Designed to protect the environment
The port authority researched many possible locations for the new terminal. We settled on the proposed location because it will have the least impact on the environment and local communities.
Based on years of scientific and engineering research, we decided that Roberts Bank Terminal 2 should be built in deep waters, away from intertidal habitats that support biofilm, shorebirds, juvenile salmon and other important marine species.
It would take about five years to build the land mass because we would use sand that is released by the Fraser River each spring, rather than trucking sand in from other sources.
Protecting critical habitat
Scientists began researching Roberts Bank in 2011 to decide if, where, and how the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project could be built, starting with decades of existing environmental study of the area.
The port authority has proposed many ways to mitigate and offset the impacts of the project on the environment, such as:
- Establishing three hectares of eelgrass beds, which are highly productive habitats that offer shelter for spawning, rearing and foraging for many species, including crabs
- Constructing over four acres of mudflat to support large numbers of birds and fish, in addition to helping spread wave energy and prevent erosion
- Relocating sea pens. Since sea pens like to gather around the edges of structures like terminals, a net gain of more than three hectares of high suitability habitat is predicted
In addition, the port authority will continue to consult with Indigenous groups and regulators to design, permit, build, monitor, and maintain new habitats.
Built for Canadians, paid for by users
The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project would be funded commercially through a long-term lease with an independent terminal operator.
The port authority would oversee construction of the land mass by a third-party developer. We would then lease the land to a third-party terminal operator, who would add the terminal equipment to the land mass, and operate the terminal.
There are currently two operators at the Port of Vancouver running container terminals that can manage increasingly large ships. The port authority intends to contract a third operator to create a more competitive port. This will benefit Canadian consumers and businesses that rely on the port for imports and exports.
We expect construction to begin in 2022 if the federal government approves the project and the port authority receives other necessary environmental permits and approvals. Operations would begin around 2029.
Download the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project overview information sheet as a PDF.