Potash exporter invests $37.5 million to speed up North Shore terminal
Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver is getting a $37.5-million investment that will double the speed it can move potash.
The money -- which is coming from Neptune's shareholder Canpotex, the exporting arm for Saskatchewan's potash producers -- will be used to upgrade the material handling and conveyor systems that transports the potash from trains and moves it first into storage and then onto ships.
When completed, in about 18 months, the terminal will be able to move 6,000 tonnes of potash an hour, up from 3,000, Neptune's president Jim Belsheim said in an interview.
That won't double overall capacity but it will increase it significantly, he said.
"It allows us to run more reliably, [with] better service and more volume," Belsheim said.
Belsheim expects that about 30 more full-time employees will be needed after the equipment is installed as shifts are added at the terminal.
In March, the federal and provincial governments announced they would provide $137 million towards $260-million worth of road and rail projects aimed at improving access to the terminals on the North Shore including Neptune.
Besides potash, which is used largely for fertilizer, metallurgical coal used in making steel and canola oil is also shipped through Neptune.