VANCOUVER — A coal export terminal south of Vancouver will no longer be able to avoid the fallout from low prices for the commodity.
Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. had dodged much of the impact of depressed coal prices because it enjoyed long-term contracts with customers. Industry analysts marvelled at how the export facility weathered the economic storm through the first nine months of 2015.
But then the reality of languishing coal markets finally hit Westshore, which said recently that it expects to ship 24 million to 24.5 million tonnes of coal in 2016, down almost one-fifth from the company’s original forecast.
Westshore’s largest customer is Teck Resources Ltd., but the lower export volumes will be due to reduced shipments of U.S. thermal coal.
Low prices for thermal coal forced Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy Logistics LLC to announce in October that it will halt its exports through Westshore, agreeing to pay a series of penalties for opting out of shipments from 2016 through 2018.
Global Coal Sales Group LLC, which markets thermal coal produced by Montana-based Signal Peak Energy LLC, said in December that it will scale back its exports through Westshore from 2016 through 2018.
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