“No secrecy, no business.” ~Toba Beta
Fraser Surrey Docks believes in expansion
Surrey Docks (FSD) has listened carefully to community concerns and has enhanced an already safe project by eliminating the stockpiling of coal, re-spraying the coal on the trains before they cross the border into Canada, and adding a suppression and binding agent to the coal on the barges before leaving FSD to Texada Island.
Since the inception of this project in June 2012, FSD has worked with leading experts to ensure the safety and reliability of our project and to assess any potential impacts on our communities and the environment.
At the request of Port Metro Vancouver, FSD submitted this vast body of work in August – all the studies and assessments that have already been carried out, all of the feedback received to date, and more recent analysis with respect to the enhancements – for review by an independent third party, SNC-Lavalin, a firm with the technical and engineering expertise to review our studies and test our assumptions around health and the environment.
SNC-Lavalin has been a key partner in developing B.C.’s infrastructure for decades, from Canada Line and Evergreen line construction to development of BC Hydro power facilities to airport development and many other projects essential to B.C.’s economy.
We remain convinced that our project is both safe and reliable and will create more well-paying jobs in our community.
We also remain committed to working hard to earn the trust of our neighbours.
President and CEO
Fraser Surrey Docks
After reading the latest missive from Mr. Scott, I knew it was time to sit down and write a little blog post about Fraser Surrey Docks and the entire coal expansion business going down in B.C. now.
Several years ago I began looking into the mainly offshore companies that the BC Liberals relied on with increasing frequency to either finance, advise or build the provinces P3 projects.
SNC Lavalin, Kiewit and of course Macquarie are my personal favourites, each of them having cultivated longstanding and deep roots in both public and private infrastructure.
It was back in February of 2011 that I penned a post about the relationship between Macquarie and the Liberal government titled:
It’s a must read, and more relevant now than ever. From that post:
“By March of 2007, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners had closed on the purchase of 100% of Fraser Surrey Docks, a strategic move on their part to add to the Macquarie groups growing holdings and investment in ports worldwide. Among Macquarie port and shipping holdings?
Halterm in Halifax, Canada, DCT Gdansk in Poland, Changshu Xinghua Port in China, and a joint venture with Hanjin Shipping with operations in Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
As part of the Gateway project, the SFPR will be a vital link for Macquarie as owner of the Fraser Surrey Docks, as well as shipping lines and port terminals in China, and Japan, both targets in the Asia-Pacific market Kevin Falcon still speaks so fondly of.
To be sure, it might be argued that Macquarie stands to profit most from the SFPR,maybe even more than Deltaport, and more than the stealthy developers who have gobbled up land left,right and centre along the route – BC Rail Properties among them.
Making money on both ends and during shipping is a profitable venture not often imagined by any corporation…”
..and it is not unreasonable to point out that via the coal transfer and expansion proposal, Macquarie stands to make ample profit on several different angles. This slide from a confidential Macquarie presentation in March,( macquarieassets pdf format) shows exactly how extensive those infrastructure and asset holdings are, including the shipping and port holdings overseas. Click on the image to see more detail.
It’s interesting to note that even two years after my original post, I couldn’t locate a reference or mention of Macquarie anywhere on the Fraser Surrey Docks site. However it is listed on the lobbyist registration as the parent company :
Now, let’s get to the heart of something really rather appalling. Fraser Surrey Docks CEO Jeff Scott not only refers to the ‘independent review’ by SNC-Lavalin, he then goes into some sort of cheerleading routine on their involvement in BC projects and infrastructure.
First of all, SNC- Lavalin and Macquarie have worked together on mega-projects not only in BC, but all over the world. I could get into all the reasons why just the perception of a conflict exists – and should be avoided if Fraser Surrey Docks truly wanted an independent review – but Grant Rice, a Surrey city council candidate in the last municipal election, pointed out this fact in several letters to the editor published recently:
“Macquarie, the owner of Fraser Surrey Docks, and SNC Lavalin are close business associates. SNC acquired the remaining stake in Alberta power transmission company Altalink in September 2011 from one of Macquarie’s many subsidiaries.
SNC is deeply involved in the coal business. According to SNC’s website, they “have worked on coal projects around the world, including the ongoing expansion of one of the largest mining operations in the world. A strong and capable worldwide team of project management and engineering professionals support our clients in the delivery of coal mining projects from the ROM pad to the port, including all mine area related infrastructure and rail.”
Considering BNSF railway has been diligently replacing all the ties on the entire length of their Canadian tracks, and performing maintenance on the rest of its infrastructure, it would seem to me to indicate they expect a lot more traffic on their lines.
Considering the deep sea port on Texada is also applying for an expansion to handle increased coal traffic… and…considering that 18 new coal mine applications popped up on central Vancouver Island while the province was concerned with the last provincial election… one could not only imagine coal barges coming from Fraser Surrey Docks to Texada… but also, potentially from the mid-north island area if any of those applications are ultimately approved.
It looks like BC is about to become an even larger coal export hub, regardless of public objection. And of course, Fraser Surrey Docks is doing the good corporate citizen thing like sponsoring the Surrey International Music Marathon for some feel good PR…
One more item of note to think about.
In years of research and debate, twinning the Massey Tunnel has most often been regarded the best solution for dealing with traffic on both sides of the tunnel.
Suddenly, Christy Clark announces a bridge. A massive bridge we really and truly have no money to pay for and quite frankly is leaving many transportation planners scratching their heads. Fraser Surrey Docks was quick to applaud the decision:
“The construction of a new bridge will greatly improve the overall transportation flow of the region,” said Jeff Scott, president and CEO of Fraser Surrey Docks. “It will also enable economic opportunities for Fraser Surrey Docks and other nearby business operators.” Replacement of the tunnel with a bridge will allow for further dredging of the Fraser River to accommodate larger vessels. Dredging of the river has been taking place since the late 1890s and additional dredging would better accommodate today’s modern vessels, according to Surrey Fraser Docks. “
In addition to coal expansion, Fraser Surrey Docks wants to increase activity at their facility overall – this presentation given to the city of Delta in the spring details all of it, http://www.delta.ca/assets/Environment/PDF/FSD_CouncilPresentation_021813.pdf – and quite frankly the tunnel is a big barrier to that expansion.
It’s been said in certain business circles,that what Macquarie wants, Macquarie gets. And as long as the BC Liberals govern the province, that’s pretty much guaranteed.