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Canpotex to upgrade Oregon port facility

Canadian potash export firm Canpotex plans to upgrade its facility at Terminal 5 in Portland, Ore. (

Reuters — Canadian potash exporter Canpotex said Wednesday it will spend $140 million to upgrade its port export facility at 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, owned by PotashCorp, Mosaic Co. and Agrium, exports the potash mined by those companies in 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 a new shiploader, 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 two million tonnes of potash annually through the port to Asia, Brazil, Australia and other markets.

Canpotex also owns terminal operations at Port Metro Vancouver.

— Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg.

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