Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd. announced its intention to seek approval from the Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) for a $93-million expansion and upgrade of its existing potash storage facilities.

The decision to undertake the proposed expansion is a result of growing world demand for potash, a commonly used essential crop nutrient. The initial $26.2-million phase will involve the extension of an existing potash shed, while the second $66.8-million phase will involve replacement of the adjacent storage shed. Once completed, the expansion will result in an additional 190,000 metric tonnes (MT) in storage capacity for the terminal.

“Neptune was selected from terminals along the west coast of North America by our major shareholder Canpotex Bulk Terminals Limited, because of our state-of-the-art handling facilities, skilled personnel, and stringent environmental safeguards,” said Glenn Taylor, President and CEO of Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd.

Pending approval from the VPA, Neptune is anticipating to commence construction in early 2006. Construction for each phase is estimated to last 15 to 18 months with almost 600 person years of labour during construction, and an additional ten to 15 permanent jobs once construction is complete.

“This is a significant investment for the Port of Vancouver, further demonstrating the strength and continued growth of Vancouver as a destination of choice for importers and exporters around the world,” said Capt. Gordon Houston, President and CEO of the Vancouver Port Authority.

“This proposed expansion would not be possible without the provincial governments recognition of the importance of BCs ports to our economy and others across the country. The BC Port Strategy was a key part in Neptune’s ability to undertake this expansion,” added Taylor.

As part of the consultations with North Shore residents and businesses, Neptune will be hosting an open house on Saturday, October 22, 2005 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The open house will include tours of Neptune’s facilities in addition to providing further details about the proposed expansion project for community consideration.

Neptune Terminals has operated in North Vancouver for over 37 years shipping a variety of bulk products including coal, potash, fertilizer, agricultural products and bulk vegetable oils to markets around the world. Neptune employs over 235 employees and contributes over $15-million annually in taxes, wages and charitable support each year to the North Shore community.