August 01, 2005 16:22 ET

Port of Churchill Receives First Vessel of the 2005 Shipping Season

WINNIPEG, Manitoba & DENVER--(CCNMatthews - Aug 1, 2005) -

The MV Federal Polaris Takes on 30,000 Tonnes of CWRS

Forecasting 500,000 Tonnes of Grain Products

Port Cargo Diversification, Business Development Efforts Accelerate

Hudson Bay Port Company, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, has received its first vessel of the 2005 shipping season. The MV Federal Polaris, a bulk carrier, docked at Churchill on July 28, 2005. The ship's arrival signals what is presently expected to be a positive season with a forecast of 500,000 tonnes of grain products. In addition, efforts to diversify import and export opportunities for the port continue.

Over three days the Port Company loaded the MV Federal Polaris to capacity with 30,000 tonnes of wheat. The ship departed on July 31 for delivery of the cargo to Lagos, Nigeria. Transportation of the wheat to the Churchill Port was via the Hudson Bay Railway, a 900-mile rail route linking Churchill to farmers and shipping interests throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada.

OmniTRAX, with offices in Winnipeg, is an affiliate of The Broe Companies, based in Denver, Colorado. OmniTRAX owns the Hudson Bay Railway as well as the Hudson Bay Port Company. The Churchill Gateway Development Corporation (CGDC) assists in marketing the port in a public-private partnership among OmniTRAX, the Province of Manitoba and the federal Western Economic Diversification ministry.

According to Mike Ogborn, managing director for OmniTRAX, the early outlook for 2005 is promising. "The crop forecasts in the catchment areas are good. We estimate the total volume that will pass through the Port will be about 500,000 tonnes for the season."

Mr. Ogborn also commented on present efforts to diversify export and import opportunities for Churchill, and the recent appointment of Bill Drew as Executive Director of the CGDC. "The CGDC is examining all feasible future possibilities for cargo diversification at the port. To this end, Bill Drew was named the new executive director of the CGDC in July. Bill will continue to work on the strategic marketing plan, of which the largest part is a diversification component."

Mr. Ogborn says target import products may include bulk commodities, machinery, refined petroleum products, and others. Regarding target countries/regions for business development, Mr. Ogborn states Russia, Nordic nations, Europe, South America and Africa all offer potential. "The OmniTRAX/CGDC exploratory 'arctic bridge' trade trip in January 2005 to Russia and the ports of St. Petersburg and Murmansk is an example of our commitment to the growth of Churchill. We learned a great deal and informed many Russian interests about the potential of the port."

The next scheduled ship into Churchill is the MV Great Creation, tentatively scheduled to arrive on August 11, 2005, which will load approximately 25,000 tonnes of wheat and durum. Currently, there are an additional seven grain vessels booked for Churchill.

In addition to the Port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Railway in Canada, OmniTRAX also operates the Carlton Trail Railway in Saskatchewan, and the Okanagan Valley Railway and the TransCanada Switching Company, both in British Columbia. OmniTRAX operations in Canada and the United States represent the largest privately held railroad operation in North America.

About The Broe Companies

Founded in 1972, The Broe Companies is an international investment, acquisition, and operational enterprise headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The company is involved in an expanding and diverse array of businesses and industries, including: Transportation, featuring OmniTRAX, the largest private rail and rail-related operation in North America; Strategic Capital, including McKinley Medical, a global supplier of innovative drug infusion systems; Real Estate, incorporating the ownership and operation of premier office and industrial properties throughout North America; Aspen Retirement Communities, which owns and operates independent and assisted living communities across the United States, with eight communities and nearly 1,400 units; and Energy including Century Coal.

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