Canpotex Expanding Portland,
by David George-Cosh
Potash exporter Canpotex Ltd. will invest $140 million in expanding its marine terminal at Portland, Ore., a move that will help boost shipments of the crop nutrient.
The investment is aimed at improving Canpotex's ship-loading operations and management of its specialty-grade potash products at the Portland terminal, while improving its supply-chain operations throughout the Pacific Northwest corridor, the company said.
"This investment is great for Canpotex and the port because it improves the speed and quality of our operations at the terminal," said Steve Dechka, chief executive of Canpotex.
Canpotex is owned by three major potash companies, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Agrium Inc. of Canada, and Minneapolis, Minn.-based Mosaic Co. The partnership allows them to coordinate much of their sales and plan their own production as well.
This year, the price of potash has rallied by as much as 17% after falling in 2013 following the end of one of two sales partnerships that help set the price of the fertilizer ingredient globally. But many market players believe the price will drop again after a recent increase in demand fizzles.
In addition to its facility in Portland, Canpotex operates at the Port of Metro Vancouver's Neptune Terminal. The Port of Portland's board approved the Canpotex terminal investment on Wednesday.
The Portland port currently has six storage bays able to hold about 135,000 metric tons of potash, a form of potassium used in fertilizer and mostly delivered by rail from Canada.
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