Thursday, August 12, 2010

USA port snares huge potash terminal

While Prince Rupert residents wait for further signals from Canpotex that potash shipments may one day be in our future, the Port of Vancouver, Washington  has moved full steam ahead into the world of potash infrastructure and shipping.

Yesterday the Portland Business Journal revealed the scope of the deal between BHP Billiton, one of the world's largest potash companies and the Port of Vancouver Washington which has  trumpeted the developments on its website.

BHP recently expanded its operations in Saskatchewan and appears to have plans to become one of the dominant players in the industry in that province.

The project will see additional rail lines put in place and the construction of both a storage building and a handling facility that will load the potash onto ships. The contract has been described as perhaps the biggest contract that the Washington port has ever seen.

Once it's completed and reaches its capacity it's anticipated that it could handle around 8 million tons of potash exports.

 The Canpotex plans for Prince Rupert became sidelined late last year, with Canpotex explaining that it was readdressing its requirements at the time.

Since then, there have been few updates on the project file, the most recent coming on June 23rd, when Canpotex stated that nothing much had changed in their planning. With each statement offering little change in that status, the early enthusiasm in the community for the prospect of the construction of the terminal and the subsequent opportunities for employment have waned as the months have moved forward from last September.

Canpotex has potash facilities currently in place in Portland Oregon and in North Vancouver, with BHP Billington joining the world of potash shipping, it will be with interest that Rupertites watch what the next move of Canpotex might be and whether our community remains on their short list of options.

You can review some of the items  from the Canpotex file on the north coast from our Podunkian archives.

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