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CN Western Canadian Capital Investments Create Additional Capacity for New Export Supply Chains and Record Grain Movement

MONTREAL, May 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of its growth strategy, CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) today announced it is increasing its operations in Western Canada with two additional major export supply chain projects coming online as well as a record month of April for the movement of Canadian Grain.

Both of the new projects are focused on maximizing the use of rail into the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. The first train of thermal coal from Coalspur’s Vista Mine in Hinton, Alberta has shipped to Ridley Terminals. CN is also delivering the first unit train of propane from Alberta for export via the new AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal.

“I’m very proud to announce the start of these new export supply chains to Asia,” said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer of CN. “Our objective is to help create export supply chains that get national resources to the best markets for our customers.  These projects support jobs and increase Canada’s role as an international energy provider into Asia. As these new projects and our record grain movements for the month of April demonstrate, our capital investments are strengthening our existing network and expanding our capacity to move more western Canadian natural resources to market safely and efficiently.”

In the month of April, CN total tonnage of grain moved out of Western Canada was an all time record 2.72 Million Metric Tons (MMT) compared to the three-year average of 2.23 MMT.

“With 21.1 MMT moved in the first nine months of the crop year, our results are +8.2%, or 1.6 MMT ahead of the three-year average,” declared Allen Foster, CN’s vice-president of Bulk, based in Calgary. “This record result is further proof that our infrastructure investments in capacity benefit all natural resources supply chains.”

The AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal benefits from excellent railway service and a marine jetty with deep-water access to the Pacific Ocean. The facility has been receiving propane since mid-April and will provide access to more attractively priced markets in Asia for the propane derived from the natural gas industry based in British Columbia and Alberta. CN and AltaGas have been working closely with local communities and stakeholders in the Prince Rupert area, setting the foundation for a successful project.

“CN is a valued and strategic partner who plays a critical role in the success of our Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal,” explained James Shelford, Senior Vice President, Commercial for AltaGas. “Ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of propane to our facility is an integral component of our integrated asset platform that is designed to provide maximum value to our customers.”

The brand new Vista Mining Complex is a low-cost world-class surface mine operation expected to employ in excess of 350 people full-time. With committed rail and terminal capacity, the project is focused on the serving the growing demand for thermal coal in the Asian markets. Coalspur has targeted initial annual production of upwards of 7 million tons, with plans to grow.

“In January 2017, The Cline Group made the decision to build the Vista Mine complex which was a greenfield mining project located just outside of Hinton, AB,” explained Mike Snelling, senior vice president, Western Operations, Coalspur. “After less than 23 months, we’ve loaded our first unit train for export. This amazing accomplishment was made possible in part thanks to our partnership with CN who’s commitment and expertise in running a safe and efficient railroad has given us the required confidence to move forward on our long-term strategy for the Vista Mine to build an operation which will be an industry leader in safety, productivity, and operating costs.”

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of terminology such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "assumes," "outlook," "plans," "targets," or other similar words.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Important risk factors that could affect the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions; industry competition; inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations; changes in fuel prices; legislative and/or regulatory developments; compliance with environmental laws and regulations; actions by regulators; increases in maintenance and operating costs; security threats; reliance on technology and related cybersecurity risk; trade restrictions or other changes to international trade arrangements; transportation of hazardous materials; various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, fires, floods and earthquakes; climate change; labor negotiations and disruptions; environmental claims; uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation; risks and liabilities arising from derailments; timing and completion of capital programs; and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F, filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators and available on CN's website, for a description of major risk factors.

Forward-looking statements reflect information as of the date on which they are made. CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.

CN is a true backbone of the economy transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information about CN, visit the company’s website at www.cn.ca.

Contacts:
Media
Jonathan Abecassis
Senior Manager
Media Relations
(514) 399-7956
Investment Community
Paul Butcher
Vice-President
Investor Relations
(514) 399-0052

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