The Port of Vancouver USA announced discussions are underway with BHP Billiton, the world’s largest diversified natural resources company, regarding the potential location of a potash export facility at the port’s Terminal 5. The port and BHP Billiton have reached preliminary agreement to proceed and are working to finalize terms and a lease agreement. The project would include handling, storage, dock and rail facilities for potash export from BHP Billiton’s first mine to be developed in Canada’s Saskatchewan Basin. Potash is a natural mineral fertilizer that improves crop yields.
BHP Billiton has selected Terminal 5, together with rail proposals from Canadian Pacific Railway and BNSF Railway as the preferred option to export potash from its Jansen Project in Saskatchewan when that project goes into production.
“Designing and developing an efficient, world-class port and logistics system is an important part of achieving our goal of building a successful low-cost potash business,” said Mark Young, BHP Billiton port and logistics manager. “The Port of Vancouver’s Terminal 5 location is an attractive site, which would be capable of handling the anticipated production from the Jansen development.”
“To say we are pleased our port has been selected as the preferred option is an understatement,” said Larry Paulson, Port of Vancouver executive director. “The opportunity to work with BHP Billiton, recognized around the world as a company that respects the environment and the communities in which they operate, on a project that will add significantly to the port’s customer and revenue base is very exciting.”
Strategic investments by the port in Terminal 5 will provide BHP Billiton with land for the company’s storage and dock facilities, and the port’s commitment to rail improvement demonstrated by its ongoing West Vancouver Freight Access project makes the site particularly appealing to this type of private sector investment.
Once a final agreement has been reached, approval is required from BHP Billiton and the port’s board of commissioners.