Posted on 05/16/2016 at 11:17am

Fraser Surrey Docks | Surrey, BC, Canada

3D rendering of the proposed coal facility

3D rendering of the proposed coal facility

Fraser Surrey Docks LP (FSD) is the largest multi-purpose deep sea marine terminal on the west coast of North America. With increasing demand for bulk commodity movements through the Port of Vancouver, FSD was granted a permit to build a 4 MTPA coal export facility that would allow coal to be transferred directly from rail to ocean-going vessels or barges.

Located within the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest port, FSD has direct access to three Class 1 rail lines: Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway, and direct deep sea vessel access to the Pacific Ocean via the Fraser River.

As Prime Consultant for the project, CWA assisted FSD with the development of the initial concept, detailed engineering drawings and associated documents for permitting and development of the facility, as well as the capital and operating cost estimates and construction schedule.

The facility is designed for direct train-to-vessel loading, which offers environmental and operational advantages.

Additional highlights of the design include a new train storage track for 150 car unit trains, a 4,000 TPH conveyor system, a fully enclosed railcar unloading/receiving facility with an automated bottom dump pit for rapid discharge, an underground rail receiving hopper, and a marine vessel loader at a berth capable of accommodating Panamax vessels.


Environmental considerations, including dust and wastewater management, were key to the development of the design and ultimately the successful permitting of the project.

The conveyor system was designed by CWA to minimize fugitive dust emissions, with fully covered conveyors and enclosed transfer points. In addition, each empty railcar will be sprayed with treated wastewater (collected on site from two settling ponds), and dust surfactant will be used at all transfer points to control coal dust during rail unloading, vessel loading and transit.


To optimize the facility design, CWA provided assistance with the vessel loading sequence and carried out a time-motion study, which helped determine the required inputs to achieve the desired annual throughput and identify potential bottlenecks in the system.

CWA compared different loading envelopes of various shiploaders to find the best trade-off to meet the needs of the current design. In addition, CWA designed the dumper pit to minimize the required excavation depth in difficult site conditions.

CWA’s design and optimization for the new facility takes into consideration FSD’s existing operations, including minimizing disruption to the adjacent agricultural facility, and integration into the terminal’s potential growth strategy.

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