Port of Churchill and Hudson Bay Rail Line are for Sale
The Port of Churchill on the Hudson Bay in Manitoba and the Hudson Bay Rail line are for sale. Owned and operated since 1997 by Denver-based OnmiTrax, both assets have been placed for sale following a drop in grain shipments putting pressure on the operation. The port has handled 186,000 tons of grain this year to date, compared to the annual average of 550,000 tons that are shipped to the northern terminal, according to Mayor of Churchill, Mike Spence, reports CBC News.
Both the port and the rail line are not to be split, but are to be sold as an integral unit, with Mr. Spence saying that there has been interest in the assets.
Mr. Merv Tweed, OmniTrax president, has expressed to both the regional and federal governments that the operation cannot continue to function while incurring losses, and that in light of the service that the port and rail line provide to the north, the governments should step up to help fund the costs of doing business.
Despite the financial challenges that OmniTrax has faced, the company has overseen upgrades on the rail line this year, along with major investments to fund improvements at the port. And although grain availability has been down this year, Mr. Tweed states that volumes are expected to increase next year, bringing shipment volumes back up to the average 500,000 tons once again in 2016.