Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Deal Off for Vancouver Potash Export Facility

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Vancouver USA has allowed an agreement for exclusive use of nearly 100 acres at the port’s Terminal 5 to expire on June 16, meaning the property will not be used by BHP Billiton as the site for a potash export facility.

The exclusivity agreement between the port and Australian company BHP Billiton was included in a lease, and was one of three definitive agreements the two parties entered into in February 2012. The two other agreements included a site improvement agreement and an entry agreement. All three contracts expired June 16. A final lease between the parties was not signed.

In a statement released on the matter, the port said the decision by it and BHP Billiton to allow the agreement to lapse enables the port to “move forward on developing a prime piece of property and, at the same time, keeps the option open to continue discussions with BHP Billiton about locating a potash export facility” at the Port of Vancouver at a later point.

“Fortunately, we have multiple properties, including Columbia Gateway, that could support this project, which enables us to be flexible,” Port of Vancouver CEO Todd Coleman said. “And because our relationship with BHP Billiton remains positive, we’re in a strong position to work with them in the future.”

Because the Terminal 5 land is no longer under an exclusivity agreement with BHP Billiton, the port is now able to market the 218-acre property for other uses.

“We’re confident that we can find a new tenant for Terminal 5 in the near future,” Coleman said. “It’s an extremely attractive property due to its size and access to river, road and rail transportation.”