Thank you, Madam Chair.
On behalf of Royal Vopak, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide comments regarding Bill C-48.
We are an international tank storage company with a 400-year history and a strong focus on safety and sustainability.
As an infrastructure and service provider, we ensure efficient, safe, and clean storage in the handling of bulk liquid products and gases for our customers around the world. Our purpose is to store vital products with care. We currently operate 66 terminals in 25 countries, with a combined storage capacity of 35.9 million cubic metres. Four of these terminals are located in Ontario and Quebec, and we recently expanded our business to British Columbia, where we have a 30% interest in a new propane export terminal that is currently being built. Including our joint ventures and associates, we employ a work force of over 5,500 people globally.
Canada is a beautiful country, and we feel privileged to be doing business here. We appreciate Canada not only for the business opportunities it presents but also for continuously striving to be an environmental leader. We certainly enjoy Canada's pristine environment and we perfectly understand why you want to protect it.
That said, many of our terminals around the world are located in or near pristine natural environments, and our experience has shown that economic development and environmental protection can go hand in hand.
Let's consider the economic context of this moratorium. According to Natural Resources Canada, Canada was the sixth-largest energy producer in the world in 2016, yet 97% of oil and gas exports from Canada were sent to the U.S. The National Energy Board projects that net exports of Canadian energy will continuously increase until 2040. However, domestic petroleum consumption in the U.S. is expected to remain relatively flat over that same time frame.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that China and India will drive a 39% growth in liquid fuels consumption in non-OECD countries from 2015 to 2040, and that's due to rapid industrial growth and increased demand for transportation.
The moratorium as it is currently proposed would cut off a direct route to take advantage of this Asian market. This will continue to expose Canada to steep discounts on energy products that it can only sell to the American market. This raises the question of why Canada would expose itself to such a serious economic risk, particularly when you look at other economic consequences of such a decision, such as forgone tax revenues or employment opportunities.
As it stands, the moratorium is not supported by an independent scientific risk assessment that justifies why crude oil or persistent oils are included in it. This creates uncertainty for us and leads us to wonder what other items could be included in the future.
Additionally, there is no end in sight for the proposed legislation, as it does not include an end date. It is safe to say that this moratorium, if implemented, would set a worrying precedent that could make it riskier to conduct business in Canada.
Seven initiatives are currently being conducted by the Government of Canada to increase marine safety that we hope are being considered as part of the development of this legislation. These include, for example, the creation of lower-impact shipping corridors in the Arctic and aerial response planning pilot projects to help Canada adopt a regional risk-based marine preparedness and response system.
At the very least, we respectfully ask that Bill C-48 be amended to include an end date to the moratorium, as well as the process and the criteria for the inclusion and removal of items from the list of persistent oils.
Madam Chair, Vopak is keen to contribute to both economic growth and environmental protection. We would therefore be happy to engage in further discussions and share our expertise, should that be of any use.
Thank you again for the opportunity to talk to the committee.