Potash shipper Canpotex to upgrade Oregon port facility

Wed Oct 8, 2014 4:09pm EDT
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Oct 8 (Reuters) - Canadian potash exporter Canpotex Ltd said on Wednesday it will spend $140 million to upgrade its export facility at the Port of Portland, Oregon, foreseeing an increase in shipments through the Pacific Northwest.

The move comes as successive big North American harvests have created commodities bottlenecks along railways, impeding shipments of the crop nutrient potash from Canadian mines to the West Coast for export.

Canpotex is owned by Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc. It exports potash that is mined by those companies in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

Canpotex's subsidiary, Portland Bulk Terminals L.L.C., will spend the funds to improve the efficiency of its ship-loading operations at Portland and the management of specialty white potash products to enable shorter turnaround times for trains and ships. The improvements will include an upgraded conveyance system and a new storage building.

With a long-term lease extension, Canpotex said it expects to increase its tonnage through Portland in coming years. It currently moves 2 million tonnes of potash annually through the port to Asia, Brazil, Australia and other markets.

Canpotex also owns terminal operations at Port Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Peter Galloway)