AAPA Seaports Advisory

Facility Development: Brownsville, Prince Rupert, Sydney (NS)

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Re-Opening Celebration for Port of Brownsville Grain Elevator

The Port of Brownsville’s grain elevator officially re-opened December 15 after extensive renovation by West Plains LLC, a grain elevator subsidiary of the BioUrja Group.

The 50-year-old grain elevator has handled millions of tons of grain passing through the port.  Upon completion of the modernization, it will be equipped for efficient and high-speed handling of grain transported by truck, rail and vessel.

The renovated facility will provide storage for nearly 3 million bushels of grain, and will create eight full-time, year-round jobs.

The renovation and modernization of the facility began in May 2016 when West Plains signed an agreement with the Brownsville Navigation District to reactivate the grain elevator. The company, which operates 26 grain elevators in four states, intends to link local growers to international markets for sorghum, corn, and DDGS distiller's dried grains with solubles.

"The addition of the Port of Brownsville facility to the West Plains asset base will bring critical markets to our customers and allow for strategic growth of the company," said Mike Rowan, president of West Plains. "This is a great opportunity for West Plains to access the fertile markets of Latin America as well as servicing other locations around the world."

The port’s first grain shipment in five years will arrive in first quarter 2017 via the Union Pacific and Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway. The latter is a terminal railroad owned by the Brownville Navigation District and operated by OmniTRAX.

"The agricultural industry in the Rio Grande Valley continues to have a tremendous economic impact for the region," said Navigation District Chairman John Wood. "We’re pleased that the partnership between West Plains LLC, OmniTRAX Inc. and the Port of Brownsville will benefit our local growers and connect them with new markets."

Ribbon cutting ceremony officially opens the Port of Brownsville grain elevator.  From left: Omar Perera (Brownsville Chamber of Commerce (BCC)), John Reed ( Brownsville Navigation District (BND Vice-Chairman, Andrea Benton (BCC), Sandra Langley (BCC), John Phillips (BCC),, Amit Bhandari (CEO, BioUrja Group), Mike Rowan, (President, West Plains), Paul Johnson ( director of operations, West Plains), John Wood (BND Chairman), George Gracia (BCC),,  Alan Simon (Vice President of Industrial Development, for OmniTRAX), Ralph Cowen (BND Commissioner), Olga Morales (BCC), and Eduardo A. Campirano (Port of Brownsville Director & CEO).

Prince Rupert: Fairview Container Terminal Expansion Project Reaches 75% Milestone

The Port of Prince Rupert and DP World say the ongoing expansion of Fairview Container Terminal is now more than 75 percent complete.

Begun in first quarter 2015, the Phase II North project is on schedule to increase annual capacity at Prince Rupert’s container terminal to more than 1.35 million TEUs by third quarter 2017.

DP World became the terminal operator in 2015.

The expanded terminal will include a second deep-water berth, three additional gantry cranes, and land reclamation to expand the container yard. On-dock rail capacity will be expanded by densifying the current track configuration, which will be supported by a rubber-tired gantry crane operation. CN railroad connects the terminal to markets in Canada and United States.

The next significant milestone will come this March with the arrival of three Malacca-max dock gantry cranes. With a reach of 25 containers wide, these cranes will be capable of working 20,000+ TEU capacity vessels.

"Prince Rupert’s container business has experienced rapid growth since the opening of Fairview Container Terminal. This project is the continued evolution of our fast and reliable trans-Pacific service," said Port Authority President Don Krusel. "The expansion of our intermodal operations answers growing interest from North American shippers that are capitalizing on the Prince Rupert advantage."

Investor Partnership Commits to Marine Container Facility Project for Sydney, Nova Scotia

Ports America and Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP) have formalized an agreement for the promotion, development and management of the proposed Novaporte marine container facility at the Port of Sydney in Nova Scotia.

SHIP has exclusive development rights to approximately 500 acres in the Port of Sydney. With the support of Ports America and a specially formed development group, it build a dedicated, semi-automated, deep-water marine container facility capable of handling 18,000+ TEU vessels. Building will commence after establishing sufficient customer volume commitments. Construction, once initiated, will take approximately two years.

Ports America will apply its business development and growth strategies while marketing the Novaporte terminal as a Ports America-managed facility to attract new customer and investor relationships. It also will advise on the operational configuration of the terminal to maximize efficiency. Ports America will manage and operate the terminal for 40 years, providing services such as full stevedore and terminal labor management, terminal operating systems, and maintenance and repair.

"Novaporte is a uniquely located deep water port able to handle the largest of the next generation of ultra-large container vessels," said Peter Ford, chief strategy officer at Ports America. "Geographically, it is the first stop for vessels on the Great Circle Route from Europe and Asia via the Suez. It has abundant land, an adjacent 1,200-acre logistics park and is located in a foreign trade zone. Add to that abundant power, road and rail, as well as a skilled work force, and you have the makings of an East Coast gateway for the next generation of super ships."


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