North Vancouver Grain Terminal Power System Upgrade

Cargill is updating their Vancouver Grain Terminal’s power system to create a safer, more environmentally friendly, and efficient working environment.

Construction activities requiring a 24 hour operation will involve the excavation to a depth of 4.6m [15 ft) for the placement of the 69 kV transmission tap pole in accordance with BC Hydro standards. Construction will begin at 7:00 am on Monday, June 25th and proceed for a continuous 24 hours until 7:00 am on Tuesday morning, June 26th, 2018. The noise emitted by the excavation equipment will be less than that of the diesel locomotives and trains normally operating 24/7 on adjacent industrial tracks.

Cargill has received a project permit from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to upgrade the main power system that runs the grain terminal. The Power System Upgrade Project involves building a new substation building, it includes two new transformers and a new connection to a BC Hydro power line that runs along Low Level Road. This upgrade will replace the old switchyard and associated electrical equipment and will ensure the plant has a safe, efficient source of power for the plant for the next 50 years. The project is expected to take approximately 19 months to complete.

 Construction will begin in July, 2017 and will be completed in December, 2018. In the process we will be constructing a substation, upgrade and rework power distribution centers, upgrade a ship loader power room, demolish the existing switch yard, and remove/ dispose of old equipment and structures.

 There are a few expected impacts of construction. Traffic will increase around the area of Low Level Road as equipment, concrete and building supplies are trucked in and later as rubble from the demolition is removed. We anticipate this increase will be approximately 5 to 10 trucks per day for the first 6 months, down to 1 to 2 trucks per day midway through the project and back to 5 to 10 trucks for the final 2 months of the project. We also expect additional noise due to construction activities such as soil densification, concrete formwork and steel erection. It is expected that, combined with the normal Low Level Rd noise, the total estimated noise level at the point of the nearest residential neighbor will be 80.3 dBA (adhering to City of North Vancouver Noise Control Bylaw 5819 for Construction Noise). All construction at the Cargill Terminal will take place in accordance with the port authority’s standard hours of construction:

  • Monday to Friday: 7 am to 8 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am to 7 pm
  • No work on Sunday & Stat Holiday



After the completion of the project, the new power system upgrade will have virtually no impacts on everyday life of the surrounding residential and industrial community. There will be no new noise or dust emissions from the plant. Some minor area lighting will be added to the new substation building.

There are a number of benefits of the project. The updates will create a safe working environment for High Voltage operations. The substation building structure is designed to meet current seismic and building code guidelines. We are using modern equipment designed to be more environmentally conscious (e.g. PCB-free vegetable-oil-insulated power transformers). There will also be improved efficiency due to reduced electrical losses.

You can view a presentation on the changes, our construction notice, and our Project Permit application page on the port authority's website.

 If you have any questions, please contact Darrell Mauthe by email at or phone at (204) 947-6493.

 Questions regarding the port authority’s permitting process can be directed to their Permit Comments line at (604) 665-9570 or

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