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2012-03-21 at 16:55

Elevator to reopen?

By Leith Dunick,
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The CEO of the Thunder Bay Port Authority says Richardson International Limited’s planned purchase of the Viterra C grain elevator could mean the return of jobs for idled workers.

The $900-million deal, which must meet government requirements and shareholder approval in May is a good indication the Canadian company intends to re-open the elevator, which has been closed for more than a year, says Tim Heney.

“That’s going to be a positive thing for the port,” Heney said on Wednesday, once the nature of a larger $6.1-billion, deal that would see Swiss-based Glencore PLC take over Viterra, flipping the latter company’s Canadian assets, including the Thunder Bay property in question, to Richardson.

“If Richardson gets that additional capacity, I’m sure they’ll make good use of it, so that aspect we see as a positive.”

Heney estimated Viterra C, located next to the Current River, employed about 40 workers before closing last year.

“If it is indeed the case they get control of C-House then they will utilize that capacity, I’m sure. C-House is one of the better elevators in Thunder Bay, in terms of its modernization, so we’re glad to see that asset back in service.”

Richardson, which employs 1,700 —people in Canada,  already operates one grain elevator in Thunder Bay and in a release announcing the purchase appears to back what Heney was saying.

“Richardson’s agreement with Glencore includes the purchase of a 25 per cent ownership interest in Cascadia Terminal (in Vancouver), which will allow Richardson to ship increased volumes of grain and oil seeds through that port following the acquisition,” the release, dated March 12, states.

“Richardson will also acquire a Viterra terminal in Thunder Bay, which will enhance the company’s current operations in that port.”

The president of the union local that represents grain workers in Thunder Bay is being cautiously optimistic about the news.

Herb Daniher, the local United Steelworkers staff representative, on Wednesday said there are a few questions left to be answered before he and his membership get too excited about the multinational deal.

“The sale has to be completed, it has to go through the regulatory hurdles, it has to go to the board of directors and It has to go to the shareholders,” Daniher said.

“As far as employment goes, it remains to be seen. One of the companies is going to reopen the facility, so it should create some work.”

Daniher added it’s the first time in two decades the city has seen a closed grain elevator reopen.

That’s the positive. But there is a looming negative, he said.

“Is there enough grain volume to keep all of these facilities viable? And that’s a question to be answered going forward,” he said.

Thunder Bay saw record amounts of canola pass through its ports in 2011, an estimated 1.4 million tonnes.



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jimmyboy says:
And so will they/this be as successful as our local joke Global Sticks...for creating jobs in Thunder Bay.???
3/21/2012 6:46:40 PM
advocate says:
Comments like these are the reason why no one votes for you when you run in Municipal elections.
3/21/2012 8:47:14 PM
TBDR says:
I'm surprised he didn't blame the Viterra closure on the mayor and council too
3/21/2012 10:33:06 PM
elvis2010 says:
Once again some people in this city climb out of their mothers basement to try and shoot down any good news that comes to this city.
3/21/2012 9:08:56 PM
elvis2010 says:
Great news! Good thing the elevator isn't located by the Fort William Country Club, would probably be people wanting to level the site!
3/21/2012 8:10:50 PM
portland39 says:
Jimmyboy you are a hypocrite. If you followed the business world at all you would understand that the takeover of Viterra was the result of the dismantling of the Wheat Board which will make companies like Viterra & Cargill more profitable. Being an advocate of the Conservative gov't you should be supporting this rather than bashing it.
This is great news for the city, Richardson's will operate this terminal and Glencore the others. With the abolishion of the wheat board we should expect more grain to flow through the port as it will not be required to be shipped through Thompson MB which it currently is and not as profitable as the Lakehead port!
3/21/2012 9:14:18 PM
feduptaxpayer#1 says:
Hey porkland! Look at a map! Thompson, Manitoba is landlocked! The port is at Churchill! Dolt!

You must be a Liberal trying to pose as a Conservative! Only Liberals can be that stupid! Pinko!
3/21/2012 11:22:06 PM
wayne says:
advocate, I agree with your comment about jimmyboy. he is a chronic complainer and negative nancy. those are the qualities that everyone wants to see in an elected official, NOT!

this is good news indeed!
3/21/2012 9:47:05 PM
figh as huck says:
Viterra Stick Inc?
3/21/2012 10:39:05 PM
wayne says:
has anyone read or heard of other former mayoral candidates being so negative about our City or current Mayor?
3/21/2012 11:27:09 PM
passlake says:
I'm just nervous, considering the fate of the local forest industry over the past 10 years. It is painful to watch the cycle of some mills, closing, reopening, only to close again.. I just hope that this investment results in a long term operation here. We're a perfect grain port and open a lot longer than Churchill, MB is..

Speaking of elevators, I just found out this week that Canada Malting has an elevator here and they supply a lot of big beer makers with grain.

Support the local economy! Drink beer!
3/22/2012 1:02:44 AM
jimmyboy says:
TBDR...if Hobbs ever suddenly walking man would you both ever have a dire situation on your hands...someone would have to call for an ambulance to quickly take you both to the TBRHSC and have your head removed from Hobbs behind before you suffocated...:)
3/22/2012 8:32:32 AM
GLYDER says:
HUH? that made pretty much no sense. Between your comments on here, and the one about the soldier returning from Afghanistan, your really reinforcing my opinion that your a complete idiot, and I am thankful that you didn't win the mayoral race.
3/22/2012 10:49:58 AM
baor says:
Say what?
3/22/2012 11:16:13 AM
newshound says:
The only reason Viterra is selling their elevator in Thunder Bay is because they have now relocated to Montreal. There is no grain commission fees if shipped from Montreal and they take better care of the port facilities there. It will be cheaper and the company can make more money and even lower their own rates because they can pass it on to their own customers.. Beware Thunder Bay, when all of our elevators start to close, you will know why... Oh and Tim Heney, why don't you dredge the Kam River its your obligation under the shipping act and you have neglected it leaving elevators like Cargill and Western Grain having limited shipping abilities, it wont be long before they pull out too, then what, more job loss and less tax base for Thunder Bay... WAKE UP BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!!!
3/22/2012 1:37:46 PM
wayne says:
jimmyboy, I believe that TBDR was simply pointing out the fact that you hate Hobbs and blame him for everything. You need to have your empty cranium extracted from your posterior alimentary canal. just pay for the procedure with your own money the next time you are in the USA, because you feel they are 'light years ahead of us'.
3/22/2012 10:50:55 PM
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