As the newly christened M/V Ultra Esterhazy slipped into the water off the shores of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-Shimonoseki Shipyard for the first time, the General Manager of Mosaic’s Esterhazy operation, Kelvin Dereski, was deeply touched by the symbolic tribute to the world’s largest potash mine.
“As our Esterhazy operation approaches its 50th anniversary, I am incredibly proud of where we have come from and even more optimistic about our promising future,” said Dereski. “I can’t think of a more exciting time in our history to be a part of this great company. I know I speak for everyone at Esterhazy when I say we are extremely grateful and proud to be honored in this way.”
Dereski was part of a special Mosaic delegation made up of Rick McLellan, Senior Vice President-Commercial; Warren Gresham, General Manager of International Sales; Peter Jackson, Vice-President of Operations-Potash; and Peter Haugen, Esterhazy K2 Mill Manager, that was invited to Japan to preside over the official dedication and launch of the new transport vessel on behalf of Canpotex, Mosaic and Ultra Bulk on July 11. The special ceremony was also attended by Pauline Tay, Manager of Administration for Canpotex International Pte. Ltd. and other local dignitaries.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be here for this special event,” said Jackson. “Having spent many of the formative years of my career in Esterhazy, I know just how much this gesture means to our employees and to the people in the community. I can think of no better tribute to celebrate the achievements, contributions and successes that have, and will continue to take place, at our Esterhazy operation. This honor is well deserved.”
The M/V Ultra Esterhazy is a double hull bulk transport vessel, capable of carrying approximately 36,000 metric tons of potash, and was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. She will officially depart the shipyard in Japan in September and is expected to arrive at Canpotex’s Neptune Terminals facility on Vancouver’s North Shore later that month to load Saskatchewan potash for its first maiden voyage. The vessel signals the commitment Canpotex has made to ensure timely, reliable transportation and delivery of potash to customers around the world.
The M/V Ultra Esterhazy is the second vessel to be named after one of our three potash mines in Saskatchewan, with the U-SEA COLONSAY, named after our Colonsay facility, receiving the honor in October of last year.
Did you Know?
In 1962, Esterhazy proudly sold its first potash production to Mitsubishi, who became the first potash exporter out of Vancouver. In a twist of fate, its competitor, Mitsui, was close behind with its first vessel loaded with potash. The Mitsubishi ship had a good head start, but Mitsui was undeterred. It turns out that for the price of a horse, the Mitsui vessel captain was persuaded to increase the speed for the long journey. In the end, the Mitsui ship overtook its rivals, and it became the first Japanese importers of Canadian potash.