It may receive less attention than the Legacy Project mine site, but K+S Potash Canada’s (KSPC) potash handling and storage facility at Pacific Coast Terminals (PCT) bulk handling terminal in Port Moody, B.C. is a critical link in a transportation system that will see potash from the Legacy Project mine shipped to customers at distant points on the globe.
“The Port Moody facility will be our gateway to the ocean,’’ says Martin Ponzlet, Project Manager of the KSPC port initiative. “The majority of the potash we produce in Saskatchewan will be shipped from this port to emerging markets in Asia, South America and North America.’’ Ponzlet says the $200-million facility was about 76 percent complete at the end of October and will be ready for operations once the Legacy mine begins production in the spring of 2017.
KSPC has about a dozen people in two groups involved in the port project. Ponzlet leads a team that’s working with global engineering firm CH2M Hill to design and build the port facility. Steffen Brill, KSPC Senior Manager of Logistics and Transportation, is in charge of setting up the Logistics organization and framework for future potash shipments by rail and ocean vessels. While the construction group members will be finished their work when the Legacy mine moves into production, Brill’s team will stay on permanently to manage the mine site’s and the port’s outbound logistics, including rail transportation, shipping coordination and order management. “We’re part of a global order management system within the K+S Group,’’ says Brill. “We will process customer orders through our IT system and coordinate all relevant logistics around that.’’
Of course, the port would be of little use without product to ship. In that regard, the Legacy Project reached another milestone on September 15 when KSPC representatives took delivery of the first of 531 potash rail cars from manufacturer National Steel Car (NSC) in Hamilton, Ont. Brill says the cars, which are optimized to ship more volume per train, represent the initial three train sets needed to transport potash from mine to port about once a week. KSPC will require more cars as the Legacy mine ramps up production, he adds.
As the project nears completion, KSPC is establishing itself as a good neighbour in the Port Moody community through joint sponsorships with its port partner, PCT. PCT Community Initiatives Officer Jennifer McKinnon says KSPC has joined her company in sponsoring four $1,500 scholarships awarded annually to high school students in Port Moody. The awards are based on academic leadership, athletics and involvement in the community or the arts. They’re intended to help cover costs associated with tuition, books, fees and academic supplies for students pursuing a post-secondary education. “Partnering with another company allows us to make a bigger difference in our community,’’ says McKinnon. “It also increases public awareness of KSPC and PCT.’’ The two companies also support the Crossroads Hospice Society through a joint sponsorship of Summer Sunday Concerts in the park and the Treasures of Christmas gala.