Richardson International Limited has more than doubled its capacity at Port of Thunder Bay by re-opening the Current River terminal, which was part of the Viterra acquisition last May.

The Current River terminal, which has a storage capacity of 235,000 tonnes, complements Richardson’s heritage Thunder Bay terminal. Richardson’s original terminal, which the company opened in 1919, has 208,000 tonnes of storage, bringing Richardson’s total storage capacity at the port to 443,000 tonnes.

Last June, Richardson began cleaning and restoring the Current River Terminal, which had not been in operation for the past three years. The required work included cleaning up the facility and grounds, commissioning the scales and re-starting the terminal’s operating systems. The first rail cars were received in October and the terminal began loading vessels in November. “It was a team effort on the part of our terminal management and all employees to take a mothballed facility and breathe new life into it”,” says Darwin Sobkow, Executive Vice-President, Agribusiness Operations & Processing. “Current River is an excellent complement to our heritage facility and will allow us to increase receiving and shipping efficiencies and capitalize on our ability to handle grains and oilseeds through the Eastern Canadian corridor.”

Richardson’s Current River terminal received both the first laker and the first salt water ship of the 2014 Thunder Bay shipping season. The terminal, which will handle mainly canola, oats and wheat, loaded its first vessel of the season on April 22, a full month later than usual given the extreme winter weather that delayed the thaw of the Great Lakes.