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Canpotex to expand potash export facility at Oregon port

Canpotex Ltd. recently announced plans to expand its potash export facility at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 5 in the Rivergate Industrial District.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary Portland Bulk Terminals L.L.C. (PBT), Canpotex expects to spend up to $140 million on new equipment and infrastructure to improve the efficiency of its shiploading operations and management of potash products in Portland, Ore. The project calls for a new shiploader, improved control system and upgraded conveyance system to shorten turnaround times for Canpotex trains and ships at PBT.

In addition, a new storage building will enable the potash exporter to better manage its specialty grade products at the terminal. The Rivergate Industrial District is served by BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad.

"This investment is great for Canpotex and the port because it improves the speed and quality of our operations at the terminal," said Canpotex President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Dechka in a press release.

After significant collaboration and discussion with key stakeholders, port staff and Portland Development Commission personnel have proposed an enterprise zone expansion to include the PBT facility. A joint venture among three potash producers in Saskatchewan, Canada — Agrium, Mosaic and PotashCorp — Canpotex also maintains operations at Neptune Terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia.

More than 2 million metric tons of Saskatchewan potash is exported through Portland annually to such international markets as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Through a long-term lease extension, Canpotex expects to incrementally increase its tonnage at the port in the coming years.

"Along with grain and agricultural exports, potash is yet another cargo type handled through our port that helps feed the world," said Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/14/2014