September 11, 2018 5:04 pm

Province reaches agreement to ship propane to Churchill for winter heating

The broken rail line in northern Manitoba.

Omnitrax / Submitted
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Manitoba has reached an agreement with an international propane distribution company to make sure three-million litres of propane heads to Churchill this winter.

The province said on Tuesday, they have a deal with Superior Plus LP to cover the additional costs of shipping the propane via boat instead of rail.

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“As we did last year, the government has agreed to fund the extra costs of moving nearly three-million litres of propane by sea to ensure an adequate supply of heating fuel for the people of Churchill this winter,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler.

“The agreement does not cover the cost of the fuel, but rather to subsidize the incremental costs of transporting propane by sealift when rail service is not available to ensure affordability of propane to consumers in Churchill.”

READ MORE: Churchill presented with challenges, opportunities

This is the third time the province has helped co-ordinate the shipment of millions of litres of propane to the beleaguered town since the town’s rail line flooded out in May of 2017.

The province, the feds and the former rail owners Omnitrax fought for more than a year over who should have to pay for the repairs.

On Aug. 31, the town announced the rail line, the port and the marine tank farm had been purchased by a consortium of northern communities, Toronto-based Fairfax and AGT Foods. Repairs have since been underway.

It’s unknown when repairs will be done, as freezing grounds will be a factor in repairs, but it’s hoped the town will have rail service by early next year.

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks about the future of Churchill

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