B.C. agricultural export terminal to double capacity with $23M in federal cash

Click to play video: 'Ottawa announces $23M in funding to improve rail capacity in Surrey'
Ottawa announces $23M in funding to improve rail capacity in Surrey
WATCH: The federal transport minister announced a $23 million investment to expand rail capacity in Surrey.

The federal government announced up to $23 million in new funding for a Surrey-based agricultural shipping terminal Friday, aimed at improving Canada’s supply chain and cutting down on waits at the port.

Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra said funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund will go to Global Agriculture Trans-Loading.

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The funds will allow the company to add a new three-track rail spur, new container lifts, new railcar pushers and new conveyer belt systems and bagging equipment.

“These improvements will enable Global Agriculture Trans-Loading to double their operations and help move agriculture product and grain between different modes of transportation more efficiently,” Alghabra said.

“It will also reduce delays and bottlenecks in the process, ensuring our ag products reach global markets faster and on time.”

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Click to play video: 'B.C. invests $200M in food security and access to affordable, local food'
B.C. invests $200M in food security and access to affordable, local food

Upgrading the facility will cut export times and add consistency, while reducing costs for containers waiting at rail yards and ports, he said.

The facility occupies five acres of land along the Fraser River in north Surrey, and is adjacent to the CN Thornton Rail yard, Western Canada’s biggest rail terminal.

“We will be able to double our capacity of agriculture goods trans-loaded through our facility from 750,000 tonnes to 1.5-million tonnes of goods,” Global Agriculture Trans-Loading CEO Johnny Sangha said.

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“We will be able to facilitate $1 billion in trade for the Canadian market. This will produce significant positive outcomes for Canadian farmers, traders, transport companies, product vendors, overseas buyers. We are very excited by this.”

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The federal Liberal government has earmarked $4.7 billion through 2028 to improve supply chains through the merit-based trade corridors fund.

Governments, Indigenous groups, non-profit and for-profit organizations, ports, airport authorities, Crown corporations and post-secondary institutions are all eligible to apply for the funding.

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