An environmental review of a proposed expansion to the oil shipping terminal at Whiffen Head, Placentia Bay has been started by the provincial government.
The proposed changes are being put forward by Newfoundland Transshipment Ltd. and will include modification and expansion of the existing facility, to service the needs for off-loading and transfer of oil from the Hebron offshore oil development.
According to a notification issued by the provincial Department of Environment, modifications planned include “heating stored crude in three existing tanks, possible decommissioning of two existing heating plants, designing a new crude heating system, heat tracing of piping between tanks and the loading platform, addition of up to two storage tanks with working capacity of 500,000 barrels each.”
The tank farm at the Placentia terminal currently has six crude oil tanks with two loading platforms and handles oil shipments from the Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose projects.
The terminal averaged 180 vessels a year from 1998 to 2012.
All new infrastructure proposed would come within the bounds of the existing facility, according to the government brief.
The expansion follows a terminal study, contracted by the Hebron project partners in 2012.
The project is open for public comments until March 13.
A detailed registration document was not available with the government notice, as of 4 p.m. Thursday, but further information on the project is expected to be posted online at env.gov.nl.ca.