Friday, January 22, 2016

Potash Corp CEO comments cloud prospects for Canpotex terminal in Prince Rupert

Turmoil on the world potash markets
could see the Canpotex Terminal
proposal for Prince Rupert
deferred to the future
As the current troubles in the commodities sector continue on, the events on the financial markets seem to be having an impact on those global players considering the North Coast for their export plans.

The latest item of potential concern that might be on the horizon for those hoping to see economic development in the region could come from the proposed Canpotex Terminal for Ridley Island.

Earlier this week the latest indications of trouble in the potash sector were relayed, when Saskatchewan  based PotashCorp shut down its mining operations in New Brunswick, putting over 400 employees out of work, as the company focuses instead on its prairie operations.

Those financial challenges in the potash sector were on the minds of many on Wednesday who were in attendance at a CIBC sponsored investor conference in Whistler.

During a presentation from Potash Corporation CEO Jochen Tilk,  the CEO offered up a number of themes when it comes to the world potash market, and outlined some of the options that the company is considering when it comes to any expansion of industry shipping facilities.

In a follow up Reuters report on the conference, the news service noted that the PotashCorp CEO had observed that with the closure of the mine in New Brunswick, any capacity handling options could now be routed through the existing terminal at Saint John, New Brunswick.

Something which the CEO reportedly also indicated would mean that Canpotex could "indefinitely defer" it's decision on the proposed 900 million dollar terminal in Prince Rupert.

As part of the Reuters story, it was outlined by the PotashCorp head the he doesn't anticipate the group making that decision in the next 10 years and noting that they are content with their current port facilities on the West and East Coast.

Canpotex is the company formed by the three major Saskatchewan Potash Companies, Mosaic PotashCorp and Agrium, serving as the marketing and shipping instrument for the commodity as it goes to world markets.

More on the Whistler conference can be found below:

Potash Corp mine closure may lead to shelving Canpotex Port Plans: CEO

The comments from one of the Canpotex partners seems to have caught Canpotex's CEO  Ken Seitz by a bit of surprise, he noted for Reuters that with the Port facility in New Brunswick now available, the supply chain strategy currently being considered by Canpotex is under review.

A process which would include looking at the proposed Prince Rupert terminal's feasibility, with the Canpotex CEO suggesting that a decision is likely to be made this year.

Further information on the prospects for the Potash industry and the impact that developments could have on the Prince Rupert terminal could be delivered next week. That's when the Company delivers its dividend report, which many observers suggest will recommend a reduction in the dividend for this year.

You can review some of the news accounts related to this week's mine closures in New Brunswick, as well as other items related to Canpotex from our archive page here.

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