Planned farmer-owned commodity hub in southeast Saskatchewan cancelled

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Plans for a farmer-owned grain and commodity handling facility in southeast Saskatchewan have officially been cancelled.

At a meeting in Weyburn on Tuesday, shareholders in Comtrax Logistics Solutions voted unanimously to wind down operations, citing “challenging trade conditions and economic uncertainty.”

The farmer-led group, formally launched in 2015, was planning to build a 260-plus car rail facility, with 60 thousand tonnes of grain storage capacity, as well as trans-load infrastructure for fertilizer, crude oil, aggregate and other commodities. They intended to build the facility on the CP Rail Soo line near Weyburn, with an estimated price tag of $50 to $75 million.

“Despite having many reasons to be optimistic at times, we’ve come to the conclusion that the opportunity for this project to provide a good return to investors isn’t there and looks to remain challenging for the foreseeable future,” says Comtrax president and Weyburn-area farmer Mark Bratrud, in a news release issued Wednesday.

In June 2017, Comtrax announced it had closed its initial private share offering, exceeding its target of $500,000. Those funds were designated for early development costs and completing the company’s business plan. In addition to farmer investment, the company planned to raise a significant portion of its funds through commercial partnerships.

“While the outcome is disappointing, the most prudent thing to do at this time is to return as much of our shareholders’ investment as possible,” says Bratrud.

Related: Planning Underway for $50-to-$75 Million Farmer-Owned “Commodity Hub” in Southeast Sask.

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