SASKATOON, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - Earlier today in Japan, Ms. Nancy Heppner, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan for the Martensville Constituency, presided over the delivery of the U-SEA SASKATCHEWAN on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, Canpotex Limited (Canpotex), its members, and U-Sea Bulk.
The delivery was also attended by senior representatives of several of Canpotex's customers, together with other local dignitaries.
Delivering greetings from and speaking on behalf of Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Minister of Energy and Resources, Bill Boyd, Ms. Heppner noted that Japan is one of Saskatchewan's major trading partners.
"The long, solid relationship we have with Japan is one we appreciate and cherish. Japan enjoys a strong relationship with Canpotex, and in turn Canpotex has a strong relationship with Saskatchewan, both of which extend almost forty years," Ms. Heppner said.
Steve Dechka, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canpotex, commented on the plans that led to this delivery.
"This delivery marks the culmination of five years of planning to ensure we have the ocean transportation capability to handle our long-term sales commitments; so it is very gratifying to see the first vessel afloat and on its way," Mr. Dechka stated.
"The delivery of a newly constructed vessel is an occasion for great celebration," he said, noting that the U-SEA SASKATCHEWAN is the first of nine new vessels to be operated by Canpotex through an innovative joint venture with U-Sea Bulk of Copenhagen, Denmark.
"In addition to naming this first vessel after the Province of Saskatchewan, the remaining eight vessels will be named after Saskatchewan's two main cities (Saskatoon and Regina) and six of Canpotex members' ten Saskatchewan potash mine locations," Mr. Dechka said.
The U-SEA SASKATCHEWAN is a bulk transport vessel, capable of carrying approximately 60,000 metric tons of potash, and is built by Imabari Shipbuilding. It will depart Japan immediately following the delivery and is expected to arrive at Canpotex's Neptune Terminals facility on Vancouver's North Shore on November 19 to load Saskatchewan potash for its first maiden voyage.
With long-term customers in approximately 30 overseas jurisdictions that depend on its integrated logistics and handling systems to ensure timely deliveries of Saskatchewan potash, this joint venture provides Canpotex with additional ocean transportation capabilities.
Coordinating some 700 port calls to more than 100 ports annually, Canpotex's ocean transportation services requires long-term planning. To this end, Canpotex has more than US $900 million in forward commitments for 15 new vessels to be delivered between 2010 and 2014 through various joint venture arrangements.
"International ocean shipping logistics are complex, and ocean freight is a critical factor to our continued success in the business of selling potash. This new vessel incorporates new technologies that will reduce Co2 emissions, ensuring modern, cost effective and environmentally friendly ocean transportation services," noted Mr. Scott Rudderham, Canpotex's Vice President Operations.
Visit our online gallery for images of the U-SEA SASKATCHEWAN, and photographs of the delivery ceremony: www.Canpotex.com
Operating continuously since 1972, Canpotex is the exclusive offshore marketing company owned by the three Saskatchewan potash producing companies: Agrium Inc. (TSX and NYSE: AGU), Mosaic Canada Crop Nutrition, LP, a subsidiary of The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS), and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (TSX and NYSE: POT).
Agrium supplies Canpotex with 9.28% of its potash product, Mosaic 37.11%, and PotashCorp 53.61%.
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