Fraser Surrey Docks

From Global Energy Monitor

Fraser Surrey Docks is a terminal at the Port Metro Vancouver in Surrey, British Columbia. It is owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, an investment fund managed by Australia’s Macquarie Group.

Fraser Surrey is the site of a proposed coal unloading facility.[1]

The coal project permit was cancelled in 2019.[2]


The terminal is at the Port Metro Vancouver located in the greater Vancouver area of Surrey, along the Fraser River.

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In 2012 Fraser Surrey Docks applied for a permit to build and operate a coal transfer facility in Surrey along the river, proposing to bring coal in from the U.S. by rail and load it onto barges bound for Texada Island, from where ships would take it to Asia.[3]

In August 2014 Port Metro Vancouver approved a US$15-million coal-loading facility at Fraser Surrey Docks. The coal-loading facility would receive coal from Wyoming or Montana.[4] According to the CEO of Fraser Surrey, the coal loading facility would operate for five or more years, handling about two million tonnes the first year, and four million tonnes annually in subsequent years.[5]

On November 30, 2015, Vancouver's port authority issued an amended project permit to Fraser Surrey Docks that approves the company's altered plan to load coal directly onto ocean-going ships, rather than first barging coal to a transfer site at Texada Island as originally planned. The terminal would bring up to four million tonnes per year of U.S. thermal coal by rail through White Rock, South Surrey and Delta, adding one extra coal train per day. Coal opponents predict the project will not be economic given declining coal demand, although it has reduced its expected operating costs with the move to loading directly to ships. The project is still facing court challenges and the requirement to get an air emissions permit from Metro Vancouver, after abandoning its court challenge of the regional district's authority.[6]

In May 2017 Ecojustice lawyers argued the Port didn’t have the legal power to approve the project and that it was biased in its decision-making. In January 2018 the Federal Court in Ottawa upheld the permit, saying it could find no basis for overturning the Port Authority’s decisions.[7] Fraser Surrey Docks (FSD) still requires a permit from Metro Vancouver before construction can begin.[8]


Opponents of the terminal announced in September 2014 their intention to appeal the approval by Port Metro Vancouver. Lawyers for Ecojustice, on behalf of environmental groups and local residents, argue the port authority was wrong to decide the project would have no significant adverse effect on the environment, in particular on GHG emissions. The appeal is ongoing.[1]

In March 2015 Fraser Surrey Docks asked Port Metro Vancouver for a permit to discharge treated waste water from the planned coal transfer facility into the regional sewage system. The Dogwood Initiative, an environmental group, opposes the water discharge permit.[5]


On February 1, 2019, The Tyee reported that "Port [of Vancouver] spokesperson Danielle Jang confirmed on Friday, Feb. 1 that the 2015 approval came with 83 conditions that 'must be adhered to' and that the project permit had been cancelled because the company had failed to show substantial progress by the required date."[2]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Macquarie Group
  • Location: Port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Coal Capacity (Tonnes per annum): 4 million
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Projected In Service:
  • Type: Exports (Asia)
  • Source of Coal: Wyoming or Montana, USA
  • Cost: US$42 million[6]
  • Financing:



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