Port of Churchill Receives First Vessel of the Shipping Season

Tuesday, August 02, 2005
The MV Federal Polaris Takes on 30,000 Tonnes of CWRS Forecasting 500,000 Tonnes of Grain Products Port Cargo Diversification, Business Development Efforts Accelerate Hudson Bay Port Company, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, has received its first vessel of the 2005 shipping season. The MV Federal Polaris, a bulk carrier, docked at Churchill on July 28, 2005. The ship's arrival signals what is presently expected to be a positive season with a forecast of 500,000 tonnes of grain products. In addition, efforts to diversify import and export opportunities for the port continue. Over three days the Port Company loaded the MV Federal Polaris to capacity with 30,000 tonnes of wheat. The ship departed on July 31 for delivery of the cargo to Lagos, Nigeria. Transportation of the wheat to the Churchill Port was via the Hudson Bay Railway, a 900-mile rail route linking Churchill to farmers and shipping interests throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. OmniTRAX, with offices in Winnipeg, is an affiliate of The Broe Companies, based in Denver, Colorado. OmniTRAX owns the Hudson Bay Railway as well as the Hudson Bay Port Company. The Churchill Gateway Development Corporation (CGDC) assists in marketing the port in a public-private partnership among OmniTRAX, the Province of Manitoba and the federal Western Economic Diversification ministry. According to Mike Ogborn, managing director for OmniTRAX, the early outlook for 2005 is promising. "The crop forecasts in the catchment areas are good. We estimate the total volume that will pass through the Port will be about 500,000 tonnes for the season." Mr. Ogborn also commented on present efforts to diversify export and import opportunities for Churchill, and the recent appointment of Bill Drew as Executive Director of the CGDC. "The CGDC is examining all feasible future possibilities for cargo diversification at the port. To this end, Bill Drew was named the new executive director of the CGDC in July. Bill will continue to work on the strategic marketing plan, of which the largest part is a diversification component."
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