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New jet fuel pipeline is for ‘community’s benefit,’ says YVR

A consortium of airlines known as the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation now has conditional approval for tankers to travel up the Fraser River, en route to a jet fuel tank farm in southeast Richmond.  - File
A consortium of airlines known as the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation now has conditional approval for tankers to travel up the Fraser River, en route to a jet fuel tank farm in southeast Richmond.
— image credit: File

B.C.’s approval of a jet fuel pipeline in Richmond is an “important next step” in a project key to the growth of a global gateway airport and local employer, an airport executive said this week.

“More than 23,000 people call YVR their workplace, including almost six per cent of working Richmond residents. Our shared success depends on a long-term, safe and secure jet fuel delivery system for YVR,” said Tony Gugliotta, the Vancouver Airport Authority’s vice-president of marketing and business development, in a blog post Monday.

Gugliotta said the existing system of delivering jet fuel to the airport will not meet future demands.

A pipeline that crosses through north Richmond to the Chevron refinery in Burnaby has long delivered jet fuel to the airport. The supply is supplemented by tanker trucks that transport fuel from a refinery in Cherry Point, Washington.

On Dec. 12, Transportation Minister Mary Polak announced the province has issued an environmental assessment certificate for the $100-million project. Once the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation has all required permits, it will construct a new pipeline from Riverport to the airport.

Oil tankers plying the waters of the Middle Arm will then deliver the fuel to a new tank farm at Riverport.

The new system will allow the airport to continue operating “for the community’s benefit and contribute millions to the economy,” noted Gugliotta.

“We are confident that (Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation) will continue to focus on environmental safety and we support the significant environmental sustainability and safety mitigation commitments included in the conditional approval.”

Meanwhile, Richmond council—which has long opposed the project—is considering its options, as is the citizens’ group Vancouver Airport Project Opposition for Richmond.

On Monday civic politicians asked city staff to draft a list of options “regarding the approval and conditions” of the project.

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