PotashCorp aims to double capacity of Courtenay Bay terminal
Company plans to infill a 63,000 square metre area to make room for a new access road
PotashCorp wants to double the capacity of its Courtenay Bay terminal in Saint John, pushing its operation out onto the Courtenay Bay mudflats.
The company plans to infill a 63,000-square-metre area — about 14 acres — to make room for a new access road and two additional rail sidings.
The company laid out its plans at a public information session Wednesday at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Ship terminal.
The terminal's new access road caught much of the public's attention. It would require the creation of an intersection on the Courtenay Bay causeway. Between 150 and 200 transport trucks a day would then be diverted from Crown Street in the city's south end.
It shakes all the houses here, cracks the windows and knocks all your pictures off the wall.- Gary Cooper
That's a relief for Adam Cooper of Elliott Row.
"I think it makes more sense," said Cooper. "[The trucks are] always up here. Especially in the morning, it gets really backed up, all the trucks are going there. Plus there's a lot of pedestrians, a lot of people walking on this street too."
Gary Cooper owns a motorcycle shop on nearby Kings Street East. He says an endless stream of transport trucks on their way to the terminal is destroying Crown Street.
"It shakes all the houses here, cracks the windows and knocks all your pictures off the wall," said Cooper, "It would be a good idea to move the traffic off that main road."
Avoid Crown Street, councillor says
City Councillor Gerry Lowe is pleased much of the transport truck traffic would be removed from the lower section of Crown Street. But he's worried trucks will continue to use the northern part of of Crown Street instead of travelling from the One Mile exit along Bayside Drive and across the Courtenay Causeway.
"I think if they continue to come through [the Crown Street exit] it is totally defeating the whole purpose," said Lowe. "That's a residential area with young children near Eglington Court and all through there. They've been experiencing these trucks and there's a lot of them coming steady."
If approved, construction of the project would begin this fall and be completed in two years.
PotashCorp is gradually bringing the new Picadilly Mine at Penobsquis on-stream. At full capacity that would see the number of potash ships visiting the terminal increase from about 60 a year to as many as 130.
Jean Guy Leclair, PotashCorp's New Brunswick general manager, says the goal is to expand annual production at Penobsquis from 800,000 tonnes today to 1.2 million tonnes when the new mine is fully operational.
He says if market conditions are favourable, the two mines can further increase production to 1.8 million tonnes a year. He says the older Penobsquis potash mine will continue to operate in the short term.
"We're considering keeping it open for six years," said Leclair, "But we're still working on the plan right now, that's the most I can say."
The two mines employ over 400 people.
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