British Columbia doubling coal export capacity

Canada is investing more than $400 million to upgrade five coal terminals in British Columbia to up exporting capacity to more than 82 million tons annually.

Coal – mostly coking coal used in steelmaking – is the number one mineral export of the province, and a recent study showed BC coal exports totaled $7.1 billion in 2011 generating $3.2 billion in provincial GDP and approximately $715.2 million in tax revenue.

The coal industry supports 26,000 jobs throughout the province, many of which make twice the average annual provincial wage, according to a news release by The Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports, a group that has been lobbying in support of projects like the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) south of the Canadian border.

GPT is one of five coal export projects  in Washington and Oregon with a combined investment totaling over $2 billion.


Annual British Columbia Coal Export Capacity


Confirmed Capacity Expansion

Potential Capacity Expansion

Total Capacity After Expansion

Westshore Terminal, Tsawwassen

4 million tons


33 million tons1

Ridley Terminal, Prince Rupert

12 million tons

36 million tons2

24-60 million tons1

Neptune Terminal, Vancouver

8.5 million tons


18.5 million tons3

Fraser Surrey Docks, Vancouver

4 million tons

4 million tons

4-8 million tons4*

Pacific Coal Terminal, Port Moody

1 million tons

2.5 million tons**

1-3.5 million tons5

Total Capacity Post-Expansion

80.5-123 million tons


Image of Downtown Vancouver's Coal Harbour by Aavarage Joe on Flickr