Centerm Port Reefer

Reefer Tower Expansion



  • Electrical
    From preconstruction to construction to post project support and service, Houle provides all your electrical construction and renovation needs.
  • Lighting
    Houle offers in-house lighting design, consultation, installation, and maintenance services. We focus on energy saving solutions so you can lower your electricity bill while reducing your carbon footprint.

Scope of Work

Completed: 2006

Owner: Port Metro Vancouver

As one of three primary container terminals in the Vancouver gateway, Centerm Port, located on the south shore of Vancouver’s inner harbor, handles approximately one-fifth of the goods shipped in containers through Vancouver. This project at Centerm consisted of expanding the port’s reefer towers to provide power to a number of refrigerated cargo containers. As the containers coming off the refrigerated freighter boats required continual cooling in between sea to land transport, construction of these reefer towers were crucial to avoid spoilage of edible goods which would result in the loss of millions of dollars’ worth of product.

Each reefer tower was fitted with approximately 60 electrical outlets spread out across four levels and 16 panels (four panels to each level). A single high voltage substation was put in place at the ground level on every other tower to distribute power to the outlets across two reefer towers. In addition to the installation of the plugs and substation, Houle also outfitted each tower with custom lighting and metal supports. Extensive underground work was also performed in order to establish charging stations for forklifts. Installation of PLC controls allowed for automation of the electromechanical processes required to power the towers.

Since the port had to resume its daily operations, the team at Houle had to take extra care to ensure that power distribution throughout the entire port continued uninterrupted. Adding further challenge to the project team was the nature of the port, which was very hectic and often at times disruptive to the work being carried out. Nevertheless, the project carried on through to a successful completion.