The large rail transport, with a total of 122 rail cars, was almost 2 km long and arrived from the Bethune mine in Saskatchewan. It was loaded with approximately 13 000 t of MOP standard potash and was pulled by four Canadian Pacific (CP) locomotives. The route through the Rocky Mountains is 1800 km long and took three days. Since the end of July, a number of small trains have already transported potash from Bethune to Vancouver.
Burkhard Lohr, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft, said: “With this first major rail transport we have reached another milestone.
“As planned we will have capacity to produce up to 2 million t at the Bethune mine annually by the end of the year.”
The arrival of the first unit train also marks a significant milestone for CP. CP connected the mine to the existing rail network with a new, 30 km long link.
CP’s Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, John Brooks, said: “We are incredibly proud to serve K+S Potash Canada’s Bethune mine.
“From origin to destination, we look forward to delivering for K+S and its international customers for years to come, and commit to doing so safely and efficiently.”
Over the coming weeks, further unit trains will transport potash from the mine to the handling and storage facility in Vancouver. Next month, the first vessel loaded with potash will depart the port, with Asia as its end destination.