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About BHP

BHP Billiton Canada Inc. (BHP) is a leading global resources company with assets and projects in iron ore, petroleum, copper and coal. BHP proposes to construct a potash export facility at Fraser Surrey Docks in Surrey, B.C. to export potash from the proposed Jansen mine in Saskatchewan.

Subject to regulatory and internal approvals, BHP would design and construct an export facility to receive and store rail shipments of potash and load onto bulk ocean-going vessels.  

Additional information about the company is available on BHP’s corporate website at and additional information about the Jansen mine can be found here.

What is Potash?

Potash, technically known as potassium chloride (KCI), is a naturally occurring mineral salt and a key ingredient in agricultural fertilizer, including common household garden fertilizers. Potash is non-flammable, non-combustible and is considered non-toxic to aquatic species. Similar to table salt, potash is mildly corrosive to metals, and is water-soluble so requires a dry location for storage. The world’s largest known reserves of potash are located in Saskatchewan, Canada. Potash is processed into solid particles that are approximately 3/16 inch (4 millimeters) in size and range from pink to red in colour.

Jansen Potash Project

Canada exports potash to countries like the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, China and India. About 95 per cent of potash consumption is for use in fertilizers, the remaining 5 per cent is used in a variety of chemical and manufactured products. Potash is a major contributor to improving crop yields and resilience and helps to feed the growing global population.

Potash is classified as a Group C Non-Hazardous Good as designated by International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes.

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About the project

The 27-ha site is located entirely on Fraser Surrey Docks property. The proposed facility, with a throughput of 8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), will:

  • Receive shipments of product by rail from the proposed Jansen mine
  • Offload products from rail cars to the conveyor system
  • Store potash in the storage building
  • Transfer products from the product storage building via the conveyors to the ship loader and to a waiting vessel for export

When throughput at the facility reaches the projected 8 million tonnes per annum, 9 to 10 trains per week are expected. Vessels loading at the facility are expected to range in size from Handysize up to Kamsarmax with three to four vessels loading per week.

Project description

To develop the new facility, the following site preparation and construction activities are planned.

Site Preparation:

  • Remove existing structures and asphalt within building footprints. Demolition will include the building southeast of Shed 4, the container truck gate, the diesel shop and a portion of Shed 5.
  • Preload the facility footprint using clean fill


  • Rail car unloading facility and material handling and transfer system including dust collection units
  • Rail loop and access improvements
  • Fully enclosed product storage building, including materials handling equipment
  • Cascading style ship loader to minimize dust and maintain product quality
  • Berth improvements
  • Railcar loop
  • Necessary utility relocation

Potash Export Facility rendering

Maintenance dredging is anticipated to continue as part of the Fraser River dredging program administered by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. No dredging to deepen the berth is anticipated.

Project status

We are in the preliminary review phase of the Project and Environmental Review process with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. We look forward to sharing more information as it becomes available. A second round of public consultation will be conducted after the permit application is accepted for review by the port authority.

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Technical studies

As part of the permit application, technical studies are being undertaken in the following areas:

Engineering studies

  • Hazardous materials report for demolition
    • Inventory of all hazardous materials currently stored on-site
    • Asbestos and other materials surveys and planning
  • Lighting
    • Review and define lighting requirements consistent with the port authority’s lighting guidelines, WorkSafeBC and Illuminating Engineering Society
    • Light level readings
  • Geotechnical Report
    • Project-specific seismic and geologic hazards
    • Design requirements to meet national standards based on identified risks
  • Marine Structures
    • Site plan specific to proposed marine works, load and seismic requirements
  • Energy Efficiency & BATNEC report
    • Assessment of Project effects to electrical energy consumption levels
    • Summary of the Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEC) for the proposed Project

Environmental assessment studies

  • Noise
    • Baseline noise monitoring
    • Computer modeling
    • Future and construction noise prediction
    • Noise assessment
    • Mitigation measures for construction and operation
  • Air Quality
    • Level 1 Emission Estimation
    • Level 2 Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling
    • Air assessment for Project operations
    • Mitigation measures for construction and operation
  • View and Shade
    • Review site design layouts, materials, graphics and documents
    • Review assessment guidelines and reports
  • Traffic Impact
    • Current and anticipated site traffic (road and rail) and how they will interact on site
    • On-site road traffic circulation
    • Site-generated traffic distribution throughout the day and impacts to adjacent and nearby roads
    • An access/egress and storage analysis for vehicles accessing site including parking requirements
    • Emergency access
  • Archaeology and Heritage Resources
    • Assess potential for archaeological resources in the Project area
    • Visual surface and drill core inspection
    • Archaeological Overview Assessment
    • Archaeological Potential Preliminary Assessment
    • Chance find procedure
  • Flood Protection
    • Flood risk assessment for site infrastructure
  • Habitat Assessment
    • Habitat assessments and mitigation for potential effects:
      • Fish and fish habitat
      • Terrestrial ecosystems and vegetation
      • Wildlife
      • Species at risk
      • Invasive species

Project plans

  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
    • Project overview and site inventory including site activities and materials which may affect stormwater
    • Hydrological assessment
    • Issues identification and risk analysis
    • Housekeeping practices, preventative maintenance, reduction and containment activities, and treatment
    • Implementation and monitoring
  • Construction Environmental Management Plan
    • Site environmental management during construction to avoid or minimize potential adverse impacts
    • Will include consideration for nesting birds
  • Soil and Groundwater Management Plan
    • Site introduction, including background, history of use, and a summary of existing soil and groundwater conditions at the site
    • Management procedures that will be put in place during excavation work if contamination is identified
  • Rail Operations Plan
    • Expected rail operations and interactions with other traffic on site
  • Marine Traffic Information Requirements
    • Vessel design ranges and vessel traffic, anchorage and utilization
    • Operations for berthing/ unberthing
  • Fire Safety Plan
    • Employee safety education and compliance with regulations
    • Identify potential hazards and procedures in the event of an emergency
  • Spill Prevention and Emergency Response Plan
    • Measures to avoid spills
    • Contingency response planning and risk identification
  • Contaminated Sites
    • Phase 2 environmental site assessment

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s website provides information about the Project and Environmental Review Process, and technical guidelines for the above studies.


How to ask questions, provide feedback, or contact us.

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Information repository

A list of the documents available related to the proposed project and links to other sources of information.

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