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Manitoba’s Port of Churchill Closes Unexpectedly

Canada’s Port of Churchill, the only deep sea Arctic port in the country, has been unexpectedly closed by its owner, OmniTrax, leaving the region’s grain growers without a shipping point for this year’s expected bumper crop.

The northern Manitoba port employs about 10% of the local population and ships an average of 514,000 tons of grain between late July and mid-November every year to overseas buyers including Mexico, Italy, and Nigeria.

The port also has 140,000 tons of storage capacity and a throughput of 1,200 tons per hour and a receival rate of 1,100 tons per hour. It includes wheat and durum cleaning capacity of660 tons per hour and canola cleaning capacity of 250 tons per hour.

OmniTrax, owned by the Broe Group, bought the port from the Canadian government in 1997 when the government decided to divest itself of numerous crown corporations but has since put the port up for sale in January of this year.

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