CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/19/12 -- Canexus Corporation (TSX: CUS) ("Canexus" or the "Corporation") today announced its financial, operations and market outlook for 2013.
"Canexus is well positioned to achieve a third consecutive year of record financial and operational performance in 2013. We expect to begin realizing the benefits of the investments made in our hydrochloric acid growth projects at our North Vancouver chlor-alkali facility, which should start-up in the first and third quarters. Also, we anticipate the expansion of our bitumen blend and crude oil truck-to-rail transloading business at our North American Terminal Operations ("NATO", "Bruderheim terminal" or "terminal") business in Bruderheim, Alberta to solidly contribute to our overall business performance once this is completed in early 2013. Lastly, all of our business units should continue to benefit from stable market conditions," said Gary Kubera, President and CEO.
"In 2013, cash operating profit should increase to between $155 million and $165 million, resulting in distributable cash of $100 million to $110 million, for a payout ratio of 65% to 75%. This is a significant increase over the record cash operating profit anticipated for 2012 of $135 million to $140 million. Management remains committed to delivering sustainable returns and value to our shareholders while driving future business growth," Mr. Kubera added.
The improved outlook for 2013 (over 2012 expected results) reflects:
-- Higher sodium chlorate production volumes (6,000 metric tonnes ("MTs") resulting from our Brandon power line upgrade) and sales volumes and a modest improvement in realized netback prices (1%) in our North American Sodium Chlorate business unit-- Higher chlor-alkali plant production (7%) and sales volumes, and higher realized metric electrochemical unit ("MECU") netback prices (4%) as a result of converting more chlorine to higher value hydrochloric acid (an additional 90,000 wet metric tonnes) in our North American Chlor-alkali business unit, and-- Solid performance from our NATO truck-to-railcar transloading business at Bruderheim. In 2013, we expect to transload 30,000 barrels per day of oil, up from an average of 8,000 barrels per day in 2012. The Corporation is anticipating only a modest contribution from the pipeline connected unit train expansion discussed below, with start-up expected in the third quarter.
On December 7, 2012, Canexus announced the expansion of its Bruderheim terminal capabilities to include pipeline connected unit train operations. In this next phase of NATO expansion, Canexus plans to connect the Bruderheim terminal by pipeline (24 inch bitumen blend line and 12 inch condensate line) to MEG Energy Corp. ("MEG") pipelines, which interconnect with MEG's Stonefell Terminal, as well as potentially to a second pipeline connected facility located nearby. In addition, the Corporation plans to build out the rail infrastructure, loading/offloading and above ground tank storage required to allow for unit train movement of up to 118 tank cars (approximately 70,000 barrel movements) in single trains daily. The cost of the project is expected to be approximately $125 million, inclusive of the $25 million to $35 million of pre-spending in 2012 for long lead items and other construction activities that are currently underway.