Stories in efficiently expanding port storage capacity



Craig Stewart, Market Manager, Cover-All Building Systems, Inc., Canada


Port of Vancouver

The need

The Port of Vancouver, USA, is a multi-purpose port authority located in Vancouver, Washington. When the group at Kinder Morgan Terminals looked to expand their storage by 6,689 m2 (72,000 ft2) at their bulk terminal facility, a 48.7 m wide by 137.1 m long (160' x 450') Cover-All® TITAN® building was installed. The primary reason was to provide increased storage capacity for 30,000 metric tonnes of copper concentrate.

Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals offer over 190 operating terminals to handle a diverse spectrum of commodities, including the Port of Vancouver’s bulk terminal facility. The need for the expansion of the Port of Vancouver bulk terminal facility responded to a 92 per cent increase in dry bulk exports through the port.

Business advantage

“The building has provided us the opportunity to expand our business,” says Chris Alexander, Terminal Manager, Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals. “Copper concentrate is required to be in under cover storage to prevent water contamination. This building has provided additional capacity and has increased our business by 100 per cent.” Along with the projected continuing demand from Asian markets, the Port of Vancouver is now in a position to capitalise on the exploding copper concentrate export market.

“The Cover-All building has been a great addition to the Port of Vancouver and to Kinder Morgan’s opportunities to export,” said Alexander.
“We look forward to utilising additional Cover-All buildings in the future, not only at this facility but at our other facilities. The cost, the efficiency, its ability to withstand the weather conditions and provide a safe, dry, lighted work environment is a great advantage to our type of operation.”

In the new Cover-All® building, the bulk material is delivered through a conveyor system and high piled in the building until it is loaded back into the conveyor system for export. The Cover-All® building was designed to incorporate both of the existing conveyor systems, as well as a new system that runs through the building.

“We were very pleased with how well the building went together,” said Todd Krout, Facilities Superintendent, Port of Vancouver, USA. “The ability to allow light into the facility has minimised the need to turn on the lights during the day which has been a nice change from an energy savings perspective,” Krout added.

The 6,689 m2 (72,000 ft2) storage facility was installed in just six weeks. “The design was very complete and overall it was easy to assemble. The project was completed quickly which allowed us to meet our tenant’s tight construction deadline. It has been a great experience and we have really enjoyed working with the
local Cover-All dealer,” said Krout.

The building provides Kinder Morgan with a clear-span space without worry of running into poles or other obstructions. In addition, the truss system is constructed using a triple coated corrosion barrier. Since copper concentrate tends to be corrosive in nature towards metal and steel products, a stem wall foundation was used to avoid direct contact with the copper concentrate material. “The way this building is manufactured, we should easily be able to keep the copper off of the metal,” said Krout. “We look forward to this advantage from the Cover-All building.”

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