Federal regulators have given conditional approval to a plan by Canpotex and the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) to construct a potash export terminal and associated transportation infrastructure.
Canpotex is proposing to construct and operate the terminal and the PRPA is proposing to construct the enabling transportation infrastructure and utilities, which is called the Ridley Island Road, Rail, and Utility Corridor.
Both projects will be located on Ridley Island in the Port of Prince Rupert on B.C.’s northern coast.
Environment Minister Peter Kent recently announced the proposed Canpotex Potash Terminal Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with the implementation of mitigation measures and a follow-up program.
The terminal will include the following components:
marine wharf, access trestle, causeway and all weather ship loading facility capable of receiving vessels of up to 180,000 dead weight tonne;
180,000 tonne potash storage building with associated conveyor and dust collection systems;
automated railcar unloading and conveyor system, automated portal scraper and dust collection system;
settlement pond for storm water and wash down water, marine outfalls;
administration, personnel, maintenance, and storage buildings; and
site services including water supply, natural gas and sewage.
Once the terminal is fully operational, it will have the capacity to export up to 11.5 million tonnes of potash annually.
The PRPA Road, Rail and Utility Corridor will include:
rail loop (about 7,818 m), consisting of a railbed for up to 14 inbound and 11 outbound tracks;
three inbound rail tracks and two outbound tracks laid for the Canpotex Terminal;
69 kV transmission line (about 3.4 km) connecting Ridley Island and the Canpotex Terminal to the BC Hydro power transmission system;
access road with a rail overpass and underpass;
rail land bridge and culverts; and
infilling of foreshore marine habitat along Chatham Sound.
The utility corridor will service the Canpotex facility as well as other future developments on Ridley Island.
Construction will also require temporary structures, including site offices, first aid stations, washrooms, equipment maintenance shops, temporary lay-down areas and barge landing sites.
The project will be located on about 160 hectares (ha) of land, as well as a 13.5 ha water lot.
The export terminal will require about 21 ha of land and the PRPA transportation corridor will require about 125 ha of upland area
A single environmental impact statement was submitted for the terminal and corridor.
Projects that were undergoing a comprehensive study at the time the provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, (2012) came into force will continue to follow the requirements of the former act.
Under the former act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is responsible for conducting the study.
Canpotex is an international marketing and distribution company wholly owned by the Saskatchewan potash producers: Agrium Inc., The Mosaic Company, and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.
Operating since 1972, Canpotex is the world’s largest exporter of potash, with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Saskatoon and Vancouver. Potash sales for Cantopex are normally in the range of 8-9 million metric tons a year.