Sulphur shippers applaud Parliament's quick response

    OTTAWA, April 18 /CNW/ - Canada's largest shipper of sulphur is very
pleased that the Federal Government, with the support of the Liberal
opposition, has taken quick and decisive action to end to the ongoing rail
service disruptions at CN by passing back-to-work legislation.
    "I'm very pleased that the federal government and Parliament have taken
quick action to protect jobs, consumers, the environment and the economy in
Western Canada," said Lorne Friberg, President and CEO of Sultran. "The
service disruptions at CN were already hurting sulphur producers still
recovering from the February strike."
    The back-to-work legislation helps ensure that natural gas plants in
Western Canada will not have to cut back or stop production due to a lack of
sulphur storage capacity. The legislation will also permit the Canadian
sulphur industry to continue to ship sulphur uninterrupted to its overseas
    "The international market place for sulphur is very competitive", Friberg
said. "If Canadian shipments to markets like China stop, then other suppliers
step in, we lose customers and Canada's reputation as a reliable sulphur
supplier to the world gets damaged."
    Continued CN service disruptions would have forced producers to store
sulphur on-site at plants where storage capacity is already at critical
levels. With the striking CN workers legislated back to work, production
plants will not be required to curtail production, explained Friberg.
    Canada is the world's largest exporter of sulphur, with exports worth
close to a half billion dollars. Sultran relies on rail to transport sulphur
an average 1400 km from each sulphur plant to two tidewater terminals in
Vancouver. Eight sulphur-forming plants rely exclusively on CN rail.
    "The rail system in this country is vitally important to ensuring the
flow of goods and in maintaining a strong economy," said Friberg. "The
government recognized this and through its quick action was able to avert the
potentially devastating effects to the economy in Western Canada by ordering 
the CN back to work."

    Sultran Ltd is a private company owned by major energy producers in
Western Canada and transports sulphur from the processing plants to tidewater
ports. Sultran Ltd. has 23 user customers, with 19 different companies holding
shares in the organization. Some of Sultran's partners and stakeholders
include major sulphur producers, marketers, railways and suppliers. Over 150
million tonnes of solid sulphur have been transported by Sultran to export
markets throughout the company's 30-year history.

For further information:

For further information: Daniel Brock, (613) 850-0711,

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