Western Canada Marine Response has begun construction on a new on-water spill response base in Vancouver Harbour. The base is part of a larger expansion that commits approximately $150 million in enhancements to the south coast along the international shipping lanes. The enhancements will double capacity and cut mandated response times in half in south coast waters.
WCMRC currently has a fleet of vessels stationed in Vancouver Harbour. The vessels are currently moored at different docks throughout Burrard Inlet. The new base will bring the vessels and crews together in one central harbour location, streamlining operations and significantly reducing spill response times in the harbour and the south coast of B.C.
We started marine-based construction in September 2020 and most marine-based activities are complete. We anticipate starting our land-based construction in mid-March 2021. Construction of the base is anticipated to be complete in fall 2021.
The proposed 24-hour facility will operate seven days a week and consist of new docks to moor vessels, as well as an office to accommodate response crews. Response barges will act as a breakwater for rapid response vessels, skimming vessels and workboats. The new base will house 24 full-time response personnel and 11 vessels. It will be fully operational by fall 2022. The new base will work in tandem with the existing response warehouse in Burnaby.
As part of the Trans Mountain spill response enhancements, WCMRC will be adding a total of 44 new vessels, 120 personnel and 6 new response bases.