Neptune Bulk Terminal Canada

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Neptune Bulk Terminal Canada is an export terminal in British Columbia, Canada. It is owned by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and operated by Neptune Bulk Terminals, a joint venture between Teck Resources and Canpotex.

The terminal has an annual coal capacity of 12.5 million tonnes.[1] Construction is underway on an expansion of the coal export facilities, known as the Allison Project.


The terminal is located on Vancouver’s North Shore and is part of the Port of Vancouver. It sits on 71 acres of land on Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet between the First and Second Narrows bridges.

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Construction of Neptune Terminals began in 1967, and one year later, the first ship ever to call at Neptune was loaded with Canadian potash bound for Japan. In May 1970, the first coal ship ever loaded at Neptune was loaded with cargo bound for Japan. The terminal has grown significantly over the years from 3.2 million tonnes of handling capacity in 1968 to 23.5 million tonnes of total cargo-handling capacity today. That capacity is expected to grow to nearly 30 million tonnes.[2]

The two coal terminals at the Port of Vancouver, the Neptune Bulk Terminal Canada and the Westshore Terminals, regularly export over 30 million tonnes of coal per year. In 2020, the two terminals shipped 31.5 million tonnes of coal, down from 37.6 million tonnes shipped in 2018. Most of the coal handled by the terminals is metallurgical coal, headed for Japan, China, South Korea, India, and Taiwan.[3]

As of 2021, the terminal handles only two commodities: Canadian potash and coking (or steelmaking) coal.[4]

Terminal Expansion

In 2011, the Sightline Institute reported that investments in new equipment would increase coal handling capacity at Neptune to 12.5 million tons per year, an expansion that was scheduled to be completed by fall 2012. At this time, Neptune’s coal terminal was shipping 8 million tons of coal per year.[5]

In January 2013, Port Metro Vancouver issued a project permit for Neptune to expand annual coal capacity of the facility from 12.5 to 18.5 million tonnes.[1] An amended project permit was approved in May 2018 with updated design plans, allowing Neptune to begin construction shortly after.[6]

The expansion, known as the Allison project, consists of a new railcar dumper building and conveyor system, a new shiploader at Berth 1, and an additional rail alignment.[7].


In November 2020, a video of the construction of the site's Berth 1 was posted publicly on Youtube.

Neptune Berth 1 Allison Construction

Quoted in a North Shore News report, Claus Thornberg, then president of Neptune Terminals says the following of the $800 million upgrade project: “I wouldn’t say they’re building a completely new metallurgical coal system, but it’s not far from it. We’re upgrading most of the existing infrastructure – a major overhaul if you like – so that that we will be able to more than double the capacity for Teck at Neptune.”[8]

The company expected the project to be completed before August 31, 2021.[9] But the company last issued a construction update in March 2021.[10] As of 2022, it is unclear if the project is fully complete and operational.

Project Details

  • Owner: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 12.5
  • Additional Proposed Capacity (mtpa): 6
  • Status: Operating
  • Start year: 1968
  • Type: Exports
  • Source of Coal: British Columbia and Alberta
  • Cost of expansion: $800 million
  • Financing for expansion:



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Neptune Coal Capacity - Allison Project Review" Vancouver Port Authority, accessed July 2021.
  2. "History of Terminal" About page on Neptune website, accessed July 2021.
  3. Statistics Overview 2020, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, 2021
  4. "Neptune Bulk Terminals," Neptune Bulk Terminals homepage, accessed July 2021.
  5. "Coal Exports From Canada" Sightline Institute, August 3, 2011.
  6. "Vancouver Port Authority Project and Environmental Review Report and Permit," Vancouver Port Authority, accessed July 2021.
  7. "Project: Neptune Terminal - Allison Project, Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Client: Hatch Mott MacDonald," MEG, accessed January 2018.
  8. Brent Richter, "North Vancouver's Neptune Terminal plans massive upgrade," North Shore News, February 28, 2020.
  9. "Construction Update - February 2021," Neptune Bulk Terminals News, accessed July 2021.
  10. Construction Update, Neptune Terminals company website, accessed October 2022

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