Cando begins construction on large new rail car storage terminal targeting Heartland petchem

Conceptualization of full build out of two phases of the Sturgeon Terminal loop-track system. Source: Project description filed with CEAA, Feb. 2019

Cando Rail Services says it has started construction on a new terminal in Sturgeon County that will use a loop-track system to enable staging and storage of up to 1,900 rail cars.

In a statement on Wednesday, the company noted the proximity of the Cando Sturgeon Terminal to the $4.5-billion petrochemical plant under construction by Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation, and to Pembina Pipeline’s Redwater Fractionator, which will supply propane to the new facility.

The Cando terminal will be unit-train capable and serviced by the CN mainline. In a statement Wednesday, CEO Brian Cornick called the decision to proceed "a defining moment" for the company.

In a project description filed with federal environmental assessors in February 2019, Cando said that the petrochemical industry located in Sturgeon County and adjacent Strathcona County largely uses rail - predominantly tank and hopper cars – to transport products to customers.

"Tank cars are privately owned and require rail facilities to keep cars when they are not actively in use at either a production facility or a user’s facility," the company said.

"The project will facilitate the storage and grouping of rail cars from various industries to consolidate rail staging operations in one area; thereby, removing the need for each individual industry to provide its own staging facility.”

Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw said that “access to cost-advantaged feedstock, world-class transportation and logistics infrastructure and readily available labour are allowing the Heartland to capitalize on the current petrochemical investment cycle.”

Early works and site mobilization have begun with completion expected in 2020, Cando said. A capital cost estimate has not been released.

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