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"USD Group has presently withdrawn its Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) application and is reviewing its options," Meg Martin, a spokeswoman for the company wrote in an email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

  • Nortel Canada to start paying billions to creditors

    Economic CBC News
    Nortel Canada's long-suffering creditors will finally begin to receive their share of more than US$4 billion to be distributed under a plan approved in January, eight years after the former technology titan began bankruptcy proceedings. Nortel Networks Corp. Source
  • Nortel Canada to start paying billions to creditors; first instalment by July

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Nortel Canada's long-suffering creditors will finally begin to receive their share of more than US$4 billion to be distributed under a plan approved in January, eight years after the former technology titan began bankruptcy proceedings. Source
  • Que. construction strike: Day 3 kicks off with little to show at bargaining table

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- There is little progress to report at the table as Quebec's construction strike enters Day 3. Eric Cote, a spokesman for one association of employers, says negotiations resumed late Thursday and that representatives for his group emerged early today suggesting they were a waste of time. Source
  • Ford's ex-CEO leaves company with $51.1M US

    Economic CBC News
    Ford's former CEO Mark Fields is leaving the company with an estimated $51.1 million US in cash, stock awards and pension benefits. Fields, 56, retired earlier this week after three years as CEO. Ford made record profits during his tenure but its stock price dropped nearly 40 per cent on investors' concerns about the company's future. Source
  • Ford's ex-CEO leaves company with US$51.1 million

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Ford's former CEO Mark Fields is leaving the company with an estimated US$51.1 million in cash, stock awards and pension benefits. Fields, 56, retired earlier this week after three years as CEO. Source
  • Feds run $21.8B deficit in 16-17, putting them close to target: early analysis

    Economic CBC News
    A preliminary analysis of the federal books suggests the government ran a 2016-17 deficit of $21.8 billion to put the Liberals close to their projection for the fiscal year. The Trudeau government's spring budget projected a shortfall of $23 billion for the fiscal year, without counting a $3-billion risk adjustment added to the accounting framework. Source
  • U.S. GDP reading for start of year revised upward, but still weak

    Economic CBC News
    The U.S. economy started 2017 out with a whimper, but it wasn't quite as weak as first thought. The government revised up its January-March growth reading to a rate of 1.2 per cent — better than an earlier estimate of 0.7 per cent but well below President Donald Trump's ambitious growth targets. Source
  • BlackBerry expecting US$940 million in Qualcomm dispute resolution

    Economic CTV News
    WATERLOO, Ont. -- BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB) says it will receive US$940 million from Qualcomm by May 31 to settle a dispute over royalty payments. An arbitrator sided with BlackBerry in April, and announced an interim award of US$814.9 million plus additional amounts for interest and legal fees. Source
  • World shares weaken ahead of G7 meeting; oil bottoms out

    Economic CTV News
    HONG KONG -- World stock markets weakened Friday as investors awaited the upcoming G-7 summit and oil prices rebounded somewhat as markets shook off initial disappointment over a production cut deal. KEEPING SCORE: European shares opened lower, with France's CAC 40 down 0.8 per cent to 5,297.13 and Germany's DAX lost 0.5 per cent to 12,561.85. Source
  • TSX slips, U.S. markets nearly flat ahead of holiday weekend

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- North American stock markets were generally lower in late-morning trading, but only modestly. The S&P/TSX composite index fell 22.03 points to 15,388.70, after 90 minutes of trading. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 12.32 points to 21,070.63. Source