Construction work is progressing on schedule at the transportation hub near Northgate, Sask. The hub is under the ownership of Ceres Global Ag Corp. with headquarters in Toronto.
A 2.2 million bushel grain-handling terminal elevator is currently rising as the cement forms rise above the prairie landscape.
Parallel rail lines loop into the logistics centre to pick up grain and oilseeds at a temporary loading facility on one set of tracks located on the large acreage that borders the United States. The second set of rail is dedicated to the transloading of propane and other commodities that will probably include oil within the year.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is the company servicing the Ceres centre and Curt Larsen, general manager at the Ceres terminal, said slightly more than 700 rail cars have been loaded with grain and oilseeds since the facility’s operations began in early January of this year.
“We can load and ship out about 60 cars a week with this current set up,” said Larsen.
The mills in the United States have been receiving spring wheat, durum, oats and now a few canola shipments from the Northgate facility.
“We have shipped out cars loaded with propane as well,” said Larsen, referring to a partnership agreement they have with Elbow River Marketing Ltd., a subsidiary of Parkland Fuel Corporation for the transloading and storage of natural gas liquid (NGL) products. So far, the company has not shipped any oil from Northgate.
The total construction value for the dual-purpose hub has been listed at $90 million and the company stated they are within budget.
The grain elevator is expected to be operational by the fall of this year. It will be completely finished and offering full services by the spring of 2016,” said Larsen.
FWS Group of Winnipeg is serving as main construction contractor for the project with between 50 and 75 workers onsite doing the bulk of the cementing and steelwork.
“By October 15, we should be receiving grain into the main terminal and we expect to have full service such as the cleaners and other services no later than the end of March in 2016,” Larsen said.