G3 west coast terminal on track

Construction is set to begin in March on the grain handling facility at the Port of Vancouver

Canadian grain companies continue to pour money into new or expanded export terminals at the Port of Vancouver.

G3 Global Holdings, the parent company of G3 Canada Ltd., announced Dec. 21 that it will go ahead with plans to build a state-of-the-art grain export terminal in North Vancouver.

Construction of G3 Terminal Vancouver will begin in March 2017 with completion scheduled for 2020.

G3 Global Holdings is a limited partnership between the Saudi Agricultural Livestock and Investment Company (SALIC) and Bunge Canada.

It is the parent company of G3 Canada, which controls assets that were formerly owned by the Canadian Wheat Board.

“Our Vancouver terminal is central to G3’s vision of a coast-to-coast grain handling network that sets a new standard in efficiency,” G3 chief executive officer Karl Gerrand said in a news release.

“We plan to transform the movement of grain through the West Coast, providing Canadian farmers with competitive pricing and reliable delivery opportunities.”

G3’s western Canadian grain handling network includes close to a dozen primary grain elevators in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

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The company’s prairie facilities include newly constructed high-throughput concrete elevators at Bloom, Man., Glenlea, Man., Kindersley, Sask., Colonsay, Sask., and Pasqua, Sask.

G3’s other assets include port terminals at Thunder Bay, Ont., Trois Rivieres, Que., and Quebec City, and it is also building a port terminal at Hamilton, Ont.

The Vancouver terminal will give G3 its own export facility in Canada’s busiest grain port, eliminating the need for G3 Canada to secure export capacity from competing grain companies on Canada’s West Coast.

G3 Terminal Vancouver will feature a rail loop track capable of holding three 134-car trains, a component that is unique among existing grain export terminals in Canada.

The facility will include more than 180,000 tonnes of storage and will be able to handle cereal grains, oilseeds, pulses and special crops.

The design will allow prairie grain trains to travel to Vancouver, unload while in continuous motion and travel back to G3 Canada’s primary elevators without detaching from their locomotives.

Products that flow through the facility will be supplied via a throughput agreement with G3 Canada Ltd.

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G3’s facility will be the first new terminal constructed at the Port of Vancouver in nearly 50 years, according to the company.

However, it is the latest in a flurry of capital investments by grain companies that export Canadian agricultural products.

Earlier in 2016, Viterra Inc. officially opened its expanded Pacific Terminal in Vancouver.

Viterra, a subsidiary of Glencore International, invested more than $100 million in the west coast terminal and tripled the facility’s annual handling capacity to more than six million tonnes.

In May 2016, Richardson International completed a $140 million expansion of its grain export terminal in North Vancouver.

That expansion added 80,000 tonnes of storage capacity at the facility and boosted total terminal storage to 178,000 tonnes.

And in December 2016, officials with Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. and Paterson GlobalFoods confirmed plans to build another new grain export terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

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If approved, it would have total storage capacity of nearly 100,000 tonnes.