Ceres Global Ag Corp. has reached an arrangement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to complete the final railway construction to allow Ceres to connect its commodity logistics hub at Northgate, Saskatchewan, to BNSF Railway. Ceres expects to complete the connection as soon as weather conditions allow. This construction and the subsequent start-up of international services is expected to allow cross-border shipments to begin later in the year as handling facilities are completed at the new logistics hub.

Ceres will work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Canada Border Services Agency and BNSF to meet all requirements necessary to safely and securely move cross-border rail cars. “Connecting the Northgate Logistics Centre to BNSF and beginning customs services represent critical steps in facilitating customer shipments from Northgate,” said Michael Detlefsen, President and CEO of Ceres Global Ag Corp. “Making this connection and ensuring customs services were the key remaining milestones in the preparation of the site. This project will provide Canadian farmers and oil producers with new, cost-competitive ways to get their products to market.”

With construction proceeding, Ceres expects to complete the remaining site preparation and installation in order to begin initial operations later this year. Upon completion, it is expected to include a grain handling and shipping facility, a facility for transloading and shipping crude oil, as well as a logistics centre to unload imported equipment and materials for Saskatchewan’s resource industry.

By connecting to the BNSF network, the Northgate hub will give shippers direct access to customers in 28 states, numerous Pacific and Gulf ports, and Mexico along the railroad’s 32,500 mile network. Access to many other strategic interior locations and Atlantic ports will be available through BNSF’s rail connections.

Ceres Global Ag Corp. is a Toronto-based company focused on two primary businesses: a Grain Storage, Handling and Merchandising unit, anchored by its 100-per-cent ownership of Riverland Ag Corp., and a Commodity Logistics unit, containing its 25-per-cent interest in Stewart Southern Railway Inc. and its development of the Northgate, SK Commodity Logistics Centre. Riverland Ag Corp. is a collection of ten grain storage and handling assets in Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin and Ontario having aggregate storage capacity of approximately 51 million bushels. Riverland Ag also manages two facilities in Wyoming on behalf of its customer-owner. Stewart Southern Railway Inc. is a short-line railway with a range of 130 kilometres that operates in southeastern Saskatchewan. The Northgate Commodity Logistics Centre is a proposed $90 million grain, oil and oilfield supplies transloading site being developed in conjunction with Riverland Ag and several potential energy company partners, connected to BNSF Railway and expected to open in the summer of 2014.