REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — After a four-year hiatus, Canada’s Port of Churchill plans to restart grain shipments, which will reduce by several days the shipping time to Europe and the Middle East across the Atlantic Ocean, Bloomberg reported.
The arctic port on the shores of Hudson’s Bay and a related rail line were purchased by a group backed by investor Prem Watsa.
“This is the first season again in many years, so not everything’s going to go 100% smoothly but we’re prepared; we have great staff and great systems in place, so we’re pretty excited,” Murad Al-Katib, chief executive officer of port owner Arctic Gateway Group, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.
The Arctic group includes Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. as well as AGT Foods and indigenous groups. Previous owner OmniTrax closed the facilities after a drop in business following the collapse of the Canadian Wheat Board and flooding, which shutdown the rail line in 2017.
Arctic Gateway told Bloomberg it will be targeting durum, wheat, canola, lentil and pea crops from Manitoba and Saskatchewan for shipment to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Al-Katib said the port will stay open until the end of October or early November, depending on weather.