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VBOT applauds approval of YVR fuel delivery project

December 12, 2013

For Immediate Release

Dec. 12, 2013

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Vancouver Board of Trade applauds the Government of British Columbia for issuing a conditional Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation’s (VAFFC) fuel delivery project.

The announcement, which was made this afternoon by B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman, is a crucial step that will help ensure our region’s airport has the fuel capacity it needs to support future growth and welcome new airlines and flights to British Columbia. The Environmental Assessment Certificate includes 64 conditions, which together with the design specified in the Certified Project Description, will mitigate potential impacts of the project.

Last month, The Vancouver Board of Trade and four other business organizations — the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of BC, the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council, and the BC Chamber of Shipping — sent a joint letter to B.C. Premier Christy Clark, urging the Government to consider the project’s application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate as soon as possible.

The Vancouver Board of Trade’s support for the proposal came after numerous meetings and presentations from officials with the Vancouver International Airport Authority and other stakeholders groups, including the Vancouver Airport Fuel Project Opposition for Richmond (VAPOR), the City of Richmond, the BC Chamber of Shipping, and from the airlines.

“The numbers clearly demonstrated to us how necessary this project is to the long-term success of our airport,” said Elio Luongo, Canadian Managing Partner, Tax, for KPMG and 2013-14 Chair of The Vancouver Board of Trade. “Not only is YVR’s current fuel delivery system operating at full capacity, but the airport is forced to bring in an average of 1,000 tanker trucks of jet fuel each month from Washington State. This new fuel delivery system will provide a more sustainable solution for YVR, which will strengthen our role as Canada’s Gateway to the Pacific.”

“Throughout 2013, the expert volunteers who sit on our policy committees have met with representatives from all sides, including the VAFFC, VAPOR, the City of Richmond, the BC Chamber of Shipping, and a number of airlines,” said Iain Black, President and CEO of The Vancouver Board of Trade. “They have concluded that, after an exhaustive environmental review process, the VAFFC’s proposed project is the best solution when environmental, socio-economic, First Nations, operations and economic factors are considered together.”

The VAFFC’s proposal is for a marine terminal and fuel storage facility on the South Arm of the Fraser River connected to YVR through a 13-kilometre pipeline. The project is needed because the existing fuel delivery system is unsustainable. The current system relies on only two sources of fuel — the Chevron Refinery in Burnaby and the BP Cherry Point Refinery in Washington. If one of these refineries shut down for an extended period, airport and airline operations would be jeopardized.

“YVR is one of the greatest airports in the world, but its runway for growth has been limited in recent years, due to its limited access to aviation fuel,” said Black. “On behalf of Metro Vancouver’s business community, we applaud the Government of British Columbia for clearing this project for takeoff, so that YVR can continue to compete globally and act as a strong economic generator for our province.”

The November 2013 letter to Premier Clark noted that the new system will replace the existing system with modern infrastructure having a smaller physical and environmental footprint and superior long-term performance. It will generate only three to five vessel deliveries each month on the Lower Fraser River, with none of the vessels larger than ships currently transiting the river.

The letter also noted that the VAFFC has committed to enhancing spill response capacity on the Lower Fraser River, which will benefit all industrial users on the river.

The Vancouver Board of Trade has a long history of supporting growth at Vancouver International Airport. In the late 1980s, The Board advocated in support of a parallel runway, resulting in Runway 26R/08L opening a few years later. In the early 1990s, The Board successfully lobbied the federal government to transfer control of YVR from Ottawa to a local airport authority, resulting in the creation of the Vancouver International Airport Authority.

In the two decades since that decision, YVR has grown into one of the most important economic engines in B.C., supporting more than 23,000 direct jobs, delivering $5.3 billion in total GDP, and contributing $11.7 billion in total economic output into the Canadian economy.

For more information on today’s decision by the Government of British Columbia, read the official news release

To learn more about the VAFFC’s fuel delivery project, visit vancouverairportfuel.ca.

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About The Vancouver Board of Trade:

For more than 126 years, The Vancouver Board of Trade has worked on behalf of our region’s business community to promote prosperity through commerce, trade, and free enterprise. As Western Canada’s largest, most active, most engaged business organization, The Vancouver Board of Trade strives to enable and empower its members to succeed, grow and prosper in the global economy.

Media contact:

Greg Hoekstra
Communications Officer
The Vancouver Board of Trade
604-640-5450 | media@boardoftrade.com

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