USD Group withdraws proposal to expand Alberta oil-by-rail facility

EDMONTON -- A company that was proposing to expand the size of a rail facility to double the number of trains it can load with Alberta oil has shelved the project.

See Full Article

USD Terminals Canada announced in November that it wanted to construct new tracks and loading buildings at its rail terminal in Hardisty, southeast of Edmonton.

"USD Group has presently withdrawn its Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) application and is reviewing its options," Meg Martin, a spokeswoman for the company wrote in an email Monday.

"The company is not prepared to comment further at this time."

The federal agency told the company on Dec. 23 that its project would require an environmental review.

The agency now lists the status of the USD proposal as "cancelled" on its website.

Reeve Allan Murray of the Municipal District of Provost said the company's decision is disappointing, adding the expansion would have bolstered the tax base of the sparsely populated community.

Murray wonders if a combination of low oil prices and the agency's decision to require an environmental review made the project unattractive.

"It is hard to justify when another thing is thrown at you to go ahead," Murray said. "I wouldn't doubt that this environmental study was part of that."

He said USD has been a good corporate citizen and hopes the company reconsiders.

Hardisty Mayor Anita Miller called the company's decision unfortunate.

"But with the economy it isn't a shock," she wrote in an email.

"Any time a project gets cancelled it will affect the economy of the towns/village around it."

Under the proposal the expanded terminal would be able to load four trains each with 120 rail cars per day.

Last fall the CEAA said it was seeking public input on whether to review the proposal, which it said had potential for causing adverse environmental effects.

Christian Vezeau, an agency spokesman, said given the company's decision not to proceed there is nothing for it to assess at this time.

He said the agency has asked the company for more information.

"The agency requested that the proponent (USD Terminals Canada) clarify whether it intends to proceed with any components of the project," Vezeau wrote in an email Monday.

The USD Group website says its Hardisty facility is connected to a main Canadian Pacific Railway line that has the ability to connect to all the key refining markets in North America.

The company has said it pioneered the crude-by-rail concept.

A report submitted by USD to the agency last fall said the expansion is needed to provide another method to pipelines for delivering oil products to market.

Construction of the first phase of the project was to begin last month and be completed by December 2016.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Poker tables keep decreasing on Las Vegas casino floors

    Economic CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- When the Monte Carlo closes its eight-table poker room in about a month as part of a $450 million overhaul, the Las Vegas Strip will have lost nearly a quarter of the tables it had a decade ago. Source
  • Las Vegas casinos continue to close poker rooms

    Economic CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- When the Monte Carlo casino closes its eight-table poker room in about a month as part of a $450 million overhaul, the Las Vegas Strip will be down nearly a quarter of the tables it had a decade ago. Source
  • Google's YouTube loses more advertisers over offensive videos

    Economic CBC News
    An advertising boycott of YouTube is broadening, a sign that big-spending companies doubt Google's ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos. PepsiCo, Walmart Stores and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have also suspended their advertising on YouTube after the Wall Street Journal found Google's automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. Source
  • National contest tries to convince students that lucrative sales jobs are 'sexy'

    Economic CBC News
    Sonya Meloff wants everyone to know that a career in sales is sexy. Not sleazy. "I think that sales is a really sexy job," says the founder of the Toronto's Sales Talent Agency. "You get to be at the forefront of representing a company, you're the one that gets to talk to the customers. Source
  • Report examines grim Bangladesh leather trade, links to West

    Economic CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries, with workers as young as 14, supplied leather to companies that make shoes and handbags for a host of Western brands, a non-profit group that investigates supply chains says. Source
  • Notley: Keystone XL doesn't lessen need for Energy East, Trans Mountain

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline does not lessen the need for two other controversial proposals within Canada's borders. U.S. President Donald Trump announced the green light for the line more than eight years after Calgary-based TransCanada first applied for a cross-border permit. Source
  • Trump's Keystone XL decision sets up new fight in Nebraska

    Economic CTV News
    LINCOLN, Neb. -- U.S. President Donald Trump may have approved a federal permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, but the fight is far from over in Nebraska, the one state in its path that has yet to approve the project. Source
  • Toronto stock index extends rally, Wall Street mixed after 'Trumpcare' pulled

    Economic CBC News
    Specialist Stephen Naughton, left, and trader Michael Milano work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. North American equity markets finished mixed on Friday after U.S. Republicans withdrew their bill to overhaul Obamacare. Source
  • PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Starbucks join YouTube ad boycott in U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- An advertising boycott of YouTube is broadening in a sign that big companies doubt Google's ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos. PepsiCo, Wal-Mart Stores and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have also suspended their advertising on YouTube after the Wall Street Journal found Google's automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. Source
  • Debate renewed over economic benefits of Keystone XL pipeline

    Economic CTV News
    U.S. President Donald Trump is calling his administration's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline a new era for American energy policy. As expected, the State Department reversed a decision by the Obama administration and favoured energy development over environmentalists' objections to the pipeline, which will carry thick Canadian crude oil to Nebraska, where it can flow on to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Source