Ceres Global Ag breaks ground on $90 million Commodity Logistics Hub in Northgate Saskatchewan
NORTHGATE, SK, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Ceres Global Ag Corp. (TSX-CRP) (Ceres) today announced that it has broken ground on the commodity logistics hub planned for Northgate, Saskatchewan and that site preparation is now under way.
The planned commodity logistics hub is being built on 1,500 acres of land owned by Ceres at Northgate, Saskatchewan, and is expected to include a grain handling and shipping facility, as well as a facility for transloading and shipping oil. In addition, the planned logistics centre will unload equipment and materials for Saskatchewan's and North Dakota's booming resource economies. When complete, the Northgate commodity logistics hub will connect to BNSF Railway's United States rail network.
"Breaking ground at Northgate represents a big step forward for us and our fellow shareholders, for our partners, for our customers and for the province of Saskatchewan," said Michael Detlefsen, President of Ceres Global Ag Corp. "In addition to the opportunities the hub will open up for Western Canadian farmers, it will be great news for Canadian oil producers looking for new, cost-competitive ways to market Saskatchewan crude to higher priced markets. We are excited to be moving into the construction phase and expect to make further announcements shortly."
Site preparation is now underway with this initial phase funded equally by Ceres and The Scoular Company ("Scoular"). Scoular is the major U.S.-based agricultural marketing company that, subject to reaching a final agreement, intends to fund and own the hub's grain operation. Facility construction is planned to commence this summer, subject to receipt of all remaining necessary permits and approvals and finalization of agreements with project partners, with initial grain and oil shipments expected later in 2013.
"This groundbreaking is an exciting first step towards our plan for the grain handling and shipping facility," said Bob Ludington, Chief Operating Officer of Scoular. "When complete, the facility will help Saskatchewan farmers increase their participation in an expanding global market, giving high quality Canadian wheat direct line access to U.S. and Mexican flour millers and opening extensive new markets for Canadian canola."
The Northgate commodity logistics hub's connection to BNSF's network will give shippers direct access to customers in 28 states, numerous Pacific and Gulf ports, and Mexico, using BNSF's 32,000 mile network, including over 45 crude-by-rail destinations. Access to many other strategic interior locations and Atlantic ports are available through BNSF's rail connections.
The total capital cost for the project is budgeted at $90 million. Ceres plans to build out the facility over three years and has designed it to ultimately handle up to 40 million bushels of grain annually and 70,000 barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to create more than 100 construction jobs and about 30 ongoing jobs once the facility is fully operational.
"We are very excited to be working with Ceres and Scoular in the initial phase of the construction of this significant project in south eastern Saskatchewan," said Kelly Panteluk, President, Kelly Panteluk Construction Ltd., the firm chosen to initiate construction activities on the facility. "Ceres' investment in our province is a testament to the vibrancy of our economy and the continued growth of our agriculture and oil and gas sectors."
About Ceres Global Ag Corp.
About Ceres Global Ag Corp. Ceres Global Ag Corp. is a Toronto-based corporation with two main operating divisions: its Grain Handling and Storage unit, anchored by its 100% ownership of Riverland Ag Corp.; and its Commodity Logistics unit, containing its 25% interest in Stewart Southern Railway Inc. and its development of the Northgate, SK Commodity Logistics Hub. Ceres also has significant capital available to invest in these and related businesses. Riverland Ag Corp. is a collection of (12) grain storage and handling assets in Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, Wisconsin and Ontario having aggregate storage capacity of approximately 51 million bushels. Stewart Southern Railway Inc. is a short line rail company that operates in Southeastern Saskatchewan. The Northgate Commodity Logistics Hub is a $90 million grain, oil and oilfield supplies transloading site being developed in conjunction with Scoular Grain and several potential energy company partners, connected to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and expected to open in the fall of 2013. Ceres common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "CRP".
Cautionary Notice: This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and United States securities laws. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, information concerning the proposed construction of the Northgate, Saskatchewan logistics hub by Ceres and Scoular and matters relating thereto. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "will", "may", "could", "would", "might", or "will be taken", "occur", or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is made, and is based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Assumptions upon which such forward-looking information is based include, without limitation, that construction will be completed on time and on budget, all necessary regulatory permits and approvals will be obtained and definitive agreements entered into. Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of Ceres and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking information include unanticipated construction delays, delays in obtaining necessary regulatory permits or approvals, unexpected increases in the budgeted capital cost, or the inability to negotiate efficient border processes. Although Ceres has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results that are not anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Ceres undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change, except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
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