Suncor uses rail cars for fairly typical products

We hope Jim and Diane Freathy are patient people. They sent us a Readers Reporter question almost two months ago. For a variety of reasons, it's taken a long time to get them a relatively short answer.

They asked: "Any chance of an article regarding the fuel storage facility at the former Royalite/Gulf refinery. We know that all types of petroleum products are moved through the Kinder Morgan (Trans-Mountain) pipeline and then presumably stored there for shipment to other Interior centres. The interesting thing might be what type of products are distributed from there after arriving by railway tank car. Trips to the airport always reveal several tank cars spotted on the spur line from the CN Rail.

Just wondering since railways and pipelines are in the news these days."

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We asked Kinder Morgan about the operation. It says that Trans-Mountain sends gasoline down by pipeline to its terminal on the southwest edge of Kamloops, where the fuel is distributed to the southern Interior.

The company doesn't own the refinery buildings near the airport, even though the Trans-Mountain pipeline goes through that area.

Those were originally owned by Royalite Oil, then Gulf Canada, which closed them in 1983. They are now owned by Suncor.

The rail spur line at the Suncor refinery has handled about 20 cars, but has been expanded to take more. Each car can handle about 100,000 litres.

Suncor representatives said it operates the Kamloops terminal but is not the only one using it.

The Suncor rail cars contain mostly refined petroleum products, gasoline and diesel, and ethanol.

"In terms of the number of cars, there is never a static number at the terminal. There have been some modifications to the spur line over the last few months in order to accommodate for the delivery of ethanol, which is mandated by the government," one representative replied.

If there are other users of the terminal, we haven't been able to find out who they are.

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