Construction of a long-delayed $70 million (49 million) terminal planned for Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles is projected to begin at the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010.
But Plains All American Pipeline, which hopes to operate the terminal, must first overcome a last-minute environmental lawsuit, negotiate a lease on the pier with the Port of Los Angeles Authority and obtain final approval from the federal government.
If completed as planned, the terminal will be the only facility on the west coast of the US capable of accommodating a fully laden Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) class of tanker. It will initially process 350,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The project was conceived in 2003 by Pacific Energy Partners as a solution to the USs rising demand for imported oil. It was originally projected to be operational by 2006. Plains All American Pipeline acquired Pacific Energy Partners, and with it the proposed terminal, in 2006.
We believe that the Pier 400 project is designed to be one of the most environmentally responsible projects of its kind in the world, maintains David Wright, vice president of Plains All American and Pier 400 Project Manager. But many residents remain opposed to bringing such large ships into port and concerned about the effects on health of the extra airborne diesel particulate matter.