PotashCorp New Brunswick is adding 250 permanent jobs to the province

With a record-breaking first quarter behind them and the completion of a $2.1 billion investment ahead – it is a big year for PotashCorp New Brunswick.

In the first quarter of 2013, PotashCorp’s New Brunswick operation saw 277,249 tonnes of potash transported through Port Saint John, up 141 per cent over the same quarter in 2012.

General Manager of PotashCorp NB Stewart Brown attributed the huge jump to customers coming back into the market after sluggish sales at the end of 2012.

He said exciting things are ahead for their operation near Sussex as work on the Picadilly expansion project is now roughly 75 per cent finished. PotashCorp expects potash development at Picadilly will begin in late 2014. The $2.1 billion project will add 250 permanent jobs into the province, in addition to the 370 people employed at the operation prior to the start of the project in 2008.

The corporation draws from the area when hiring and contracting, boosting the local economy.

PotashCorp is also studying the possibility of upgrading facilities at their terminal in the heart of the Port. “If we’ve got more production capability in New Brunswick, it has an effect on the product coming out of Saint John,” Brown said.

The General Manager said the Port is a big part of why PotashCorp is investing in the area. Port Saint John is a gateway to markets in the South, where 94 per cent of their sales are distributed.

“Obviously the Port is an important reason why we’ve made this investment in New Brunswick – being able to export from Port Saint John to South America, Central America and the Caribbean,” Brown said. “There will be more value to the Port as we use the potash terminal more consistently.”

A valuable partnership

Port Saint John President and CEO Jim Quinn said PotashCorp is a crucial part of the puzzle.

“Potash is an important commodity moved through the port because it’s our largest dry bulk commodity and we’re excited that the operation has been successful and is expanding,” he said.

Port Saint John is in the early phases of discussion with PotashCorp about their needs concerning a potential expansion at the terminal.

“We’ve been in early discussion with PotashCorp concerning what needs they may have with respect to increasing their presence in the port, given their expansion in Sussex. We’re also excited by that potential expansion,” he said.