Canada’s largest producer of metallurgical coal, Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX: TCK.A and TCK.B, NYSE: TCK), said Dec. 7 that it is taking steps in response to impacts to coal shipping capacity at Westshore Terminals Ltd. following an incident that resulted in Berth 1 being out of commission for an unknown amount of time.
Teck said it will continue to ship through Berth 2 at Westshore and will be shifting shipping capacity to Neptune Terminals and exploring options for moving additional tonnage to both Pacific Coast Terminals and Ridley Terminals.
“Our preliminary assessment is that we will meet or exceed our sales guidance of 6.2 million tonnes for the fourth quarter and, as there is inventory space available at Westshore, we do not expect this incident to have a material impact on coal production for the fourth quarter,” Teck added.
The Westshore Terminals coal export facility located at Roberts Bank, Delta, British Columbia, some 32 kilometres south of downtown Vancouver and only 500 meters from the U.S. border, is part of Port Metro Vancouver. It shipped a record 27.3 million tonnes in 2011, easily surpassing the combined total coal exports of all other Canadian facilities.
The Westshore website noted about recent expansion; “In the 4th Quarter of 2012, Westshore completed a five-year, [C]$100 million equipment upgrade. The first phase, completed in 2010, saw a new conveyor line and ancillary equipment; the replacement of one of the two rotary barrels in the twin dumper; and the commissioning of a fourth stacker-reclaimer. The latest stage, which finished with a six-week shutdown of part of the terminal in October and November of 2012, included the replacement of chutes in the conveyor transfer towers and three of the stacker-reclaimers; removal of the existing single rotary dumper; the installation of a new twin rotary dumper; and for the first time two exit train positioners, plus a new entry positioner. Although the five-year upgrade did not increase Westshore’s footprint, it lifted capacity from a nominal 23.5 million tonnes to 33 mt and increased efficiency while speeding up train dumping and ship loading.”