Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/11/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
As the grain companies in Western Canada fight it out with the railroads over the huge backlog in grain shipments this year, they have been busy developing additional storage capacity in the network.
On Thursday, the CWB (formerly the Canadian Wheat Board) announced construction of its second state-of-the-art Prairie grain elevator in less than three weeks. It's about 65 kilometres east of Saskatoon near Colonsay, Sask.
Earlier this month, Viterra Inc. announced construction of a new elevator in Kindersley, Sask., and $100 million in enhancements of its Vancouver port terminal.
On Wednesday, Cargill announced the expansion of its elevator in Morris, Man., increasing its capacity by 200 per cent.
Ian White, the CWB's CEO, said there is more infrastructure expansion to come from the former federal Crown corporation.
"We aim to be relevant... a significant grain company," White said. "I won't disclose how many facilities that will require, but I would say we would be looking to add facilities across the Prairies that give us that sort of scale."
The challenges of moving the 70-million-tonne-plus 2013 grain harvest has made clear there is plenty of room for added handling capacity in the system.
White said he believes that's the case, adding it's the consensus within Canada's grain-handling industry.
"We all believe either we have to upgrade the number of facilities we have and increase the level of storage or build new facilities to cater to the future of the grain industry," he said.
The CWB's 42,000-tonne elevator under construction near Colonsay, Sask., is scheduled to open in time for the 2015 harvest.
It is adjacent to the Canadian Pacific railway's main line and will feature a car-loading rate of up to 1,600 tonnes per hour with a 134-car loop track.
Last month, CWB started construction of an elevator with a 33,900-tonne capacity west of Portage la Prairie in Bloom, Man. That one is on the CN main line. The CWB is spending $25 million to $35 million on the two elevators.
White said the CWB's new terminals will be more efficient and quicker for farmers to deliver and for the railroads to unload.
He said he believes there will be other opportunities for new construction and/or acquisitions.
Earlier this week, Jeff Vassart, Cargill Canada's president, said in a statement regarding its Morris elevator expansion: "We recognize the need for more storage and additional care spots for the entire value chain to maximize opportunity."
In addition to the recently announced expansions of the grain-handling network infrastructure, Richardson International said last summer it would spend $40 million upgrading its crop-input centres across Western Canada and $120 million expanding its Vancouver grain terminal.
Viterra is spending $20 million upgrading four other elevators in Saskatchewan in addition to the 34,000-tonne-capacity elevator in Kindersley.
The CWB's new elevator construction is part of the company's privatization strategy. Last November, it acquired Mission Terminal in Ontario and Les âlévateurs des Trois-Rivières in Quebec.
As well, it is expecting delivery of two Equinox-class lake vessels this year that could be operating as early as the end of this summer.
White said the CWB will have no trouble meeting its mandate to provide a business case to Ottawa no later than mid-year 2016 and be privatized by 2017.
"We do believe we will be well ahead of that schedule," he said. "I can't say much more now, but we are looking to put our privatization plans to the government in 2014. Then we will say where the process goes from there."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 11, 2014 B6
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
German factory orders down more than expected in January
AbbVie to buy leukemia drugmaker Pharmacyclics for $21B
China lowers growth target, promises to open industries
Microsoft outlines plan to bridge Xbox and PC video gaming
Bankrupt Caesars unit gets court's OK to use cash, for now
House passes Amtrak bill that could boost Northeast service
Facebook exec, NBA team up to get men to 'lean in' for women
Taxes killing rural hotels: owners
Airlines cancelling large number of flights for Thursday
GWL acquires annuity business
Pharrell tells jury he didn't copy Marvin Gaye in hit song
Looking for a luxury home?
The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store
Housing affordability improving: RBC
Mandarin Oriental investigating potential credit card breach
Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections
2 killed in shootings at California nightclub, gas station
Report: J&J close to deal to buy partner Pharmacyclics
Online retailer Etsy files for IPO valued at up to $100M
Proposed Christie-Exxon Mobil contamination deal criticized
Most actively traded companies on the TSX
Encana announces $1.25 billion share offering
How to help cats, livestock and birds cope with the cold
Size matters: Phones as big as they can get for easy use
How the Dow Jones industrial average fared on Wednesday
Excerpts from health care case argued at the Supreme Court
Court: Man burned by fajitas while praying can't sue eatery
Abercrombie & Fitch, Wayfair are big market movers
Man accused of faking Facebook account for teen sex photos
All Albertans must fix fiscal mess: Prentice
Health care at the high court: 5 ways this time is different
Clinton email policy violated Obama administration guidance
Will Facebook make a car? Zuckerberg: Focus on the network
Clarification: Health Overhaul-Republicans story
US Senate fails to override Obama on Keystone
DiCaprio partners with Netflix for series of documentaries
Judge OKs $415M settlement in tech workers' lawsuit
Senator asks for federal investigation of Lumber Liquidators
Fed survey finds US economy growing at moderate pace