New, bigger ships expand B.C. potash trade globally

by Canadian Shipper

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. — A new, larger Canpotex potash ship (the U-Sea Colonsay) has made its maiden voyage to Neptune Terminals, expanding Canpotex’s capacity to export more potash to Asia and other international markets.

“Canpotex needs bigger ships to move more potash. This means more business and jobs in North Vancouver and supports ‘Canada Starts Here – the BC Jobs Plan’ to expand and open new markets in the Asia Pacific region and create new jobs at home,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. “A seamless flow of goods is what differentiates a good transportation system from a great one. We are committed to having one of the best systems in the world.”

Lekstrom along with Scott Rudderham, Canpotex’s vice-president of operations, and Jim Belsheim, president of Neptune Terminals, toured one of the newest vessels to visit North Vancouver. The state-of-the-art vessel incorporates new technologies that are designed to provide modern, cost-effective and environmentally friendly ocean transportation services.

Rudderham noted the importance of having reliable infrastructure and ocean freight services. One of the key pillars of the BC Jobs Plan is strengthening infrastructure to get goods and services to market.

“It has always been our practice to plan ahead and anticipate growth in the potash industry. Canpotex’s long-term investments in infrastructure at Neptune Terminals and our long-term vessel commitments ensure we have the capacity and resources available to respond to the changing needs of our customers.”

Neptune Terminals recently upgraded its potash-handling capability to 11.5 million tonnes to handle Canpotex’s increasing international potash trade. Potash shipments rose by more than 160% over 2009 shipments to 5.5 million tonnes at Neptune last year, and are projected to exceed 7.2 million tonnes in 2011.

“We anticipate 90 new jobs for our potash business as a result of a $75-million strategic investment program at our terminal, covering various recent capital projects and improvements. By focusing on customer service and working closely with Canpotex over the last few years, we’ve been able to significantly improve service delivery from mine to ship,” said Belsheim.

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