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OmniTRAX, public partners seek to pump up Port of Churchill's volume

The Churchill Gateway Development Corp. (CGDC) is trying to develop new markets for the Port of Churchill, such as fertilizers, containerized-goods and concentrated products.

A public-private partnership comprising the province of Manitoba, Western Economic Diversification Canada and OmniTRAX Inc., CGDC plans to step up marketing efforts, diversify the port's traffic base and build two-way traffic.

"These efforts are designed to ensure the long-term viability of the port and make it sustainable while reducing its dependency on its traditional product line — the exporting of western Canadian grain," said CGDC Chairman Lloyd Axworthy in a prepared statement.

The corporation expects 1 million tons of grain — and thousands of tons of other commodities — to flow in and out of the port next year. In 2003, the port handled 620,000 tons of freight, including more than 300,000 tons of wheat, 140,000 tons of durum and 93,000 tons of feed peas.

"Our public-private partnership approach to our northern gateway investment this year paid off with a 120 percent increase in shipments through the port," said Manitoba Transportation and Government Services Minister Ron Lemieux.

OmniTRAX's 810-mile Hudson Bay Railway Co. serves the port, as well as new port customer the Canadian Wheat Board.

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More News from 12/10/2003