The vessel is loaded with 30 000 t of cargo, and set sail from the potash handling and storage facility at Pacific Coast Terminals in Port Moody, Vancouver.
Burkhard Lohr, Chairman of the K+S Board of Executive Directors, said: “With the launch of production and the commissioning of the newly storage and transshipment facilities, we have now made a decisive step forward: We have started to supply the market with products from our new potash plant. We will also work consistently on proceeding with the next stage in the project, the ramping up of technical capacity to 2 million t by the end of the year.”
The Managing Director of KSPC, Ulrich Lamp, added: “With the departure of the first ship carry potash from Bethune, we are experiencing a further important milestone and, at the same time, witnessing the success of our many years of work. The entire team has been working intensively toward this moment and has displayed a fantastic team effort!”
The Bethune potash plant commenced production in June 2017. Since, then K+S claims that it has made impressive progress. At the end of July, the first, smaller volumes of potash were transported by rail to Vancouver, whilst in August, K+S and its partner, Pacific Coast Terminal, opened a modern and high performance potash handling and storage facility at Port Moody. At the end of September, a first unit train, comprised of 122 railcars, transported 13 000 t of standard potash to the port.
KSPC’s storage and handling facility is capable of receiving freight trains carrying up to 18 000 t of product. It can also provide storage for 160 000 t of potash, and can dispatch vessels loaded with 70 000 t from its own quay. From this facility, K+S claims that it can supply both Asian and South American markets from its newest plant in a logistically advantageous way.