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West Coast potash terminal plans head to review stage

A federal environmental assessment of plans for a new potash export terminal at Prince Rupert, B.C. is heading into an early stage for public comment.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on Monday announced a deadline of Sept. 30 for public comments on the proposal from Canpotex, the jointly-owned offshore marketing arm of fertilizer giants Agrium, Mosaic Co. and PotashCorp.

The Sept. 30 deadline is also for funding applications from “groups and individuals” wanting to take part in “upcoming steps” of the project’s environmental assessment. The federal agency has budgeted $50,000 for assistance to eligible applicants.

The public participation period is the first of three planned to take place during the federal environmental assessment of the Canpotex project, with others to be announced “at a later date.”

Canpotex’s export terminal arm and the Prince Rupert Port Authority plan to develop and operate this potash export terminal and a rail, road and utilities loop corridor on Ridley Island at the Port of Prince Rupert.

Canpotex first announced its “greenfield” plans for Prince Rupert in June 2008, along with a “brownfield” proposal to expand capacity next to Neptune Bulk Terminals in North Vancouver.

The two projects were originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2012 and are expected to add about 11 million tonnes per year of potash shipping capacity to Canpotex’s current West Coast capacity of 12 million, the company said at the time.

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