|By Marketwired .||
|July 2, 2014 07:06 PM EDT||
CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/02/14 -- Canexus Corporation (TSX: CUS) (the "Corporation" or "Canexus") announced today that its Board of Directors (the "Board") has appointed R. Douglas Wonnacott as its President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Corporation effective immediately. Mr. Wonnacott is a seasoned executive who has served in a variety of senior executive positions and has over 30 years of experience in the chemical industry.
Mr. Wonnacott is a results-oriented leader with extensive experience in strategic planning, marketing, production, logistics and supply chain management, and terminal operations. Prior to his appointment at Canexus, Mr. Wonnacott was the Chief Operating Officer of Agri-Products at Viterra Inc., a global agribusiness company. Mr. Wonnacott holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA in Marketing and International Business from the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration at the University of Western Ontario.
"After a thorough search, the Board is pleased that Doug has accepted the role of President and CEO given his proven ability to create strategic clarity, ensure disciplined execution and unlock shareholder value," said Hugh Fergusson, Canexus Board Chairman. "At this time we would also like to thank Richard Ott for his contributions and leadership while acting as Interim President and CEO for the last four months and welcome him back as an independent director of the Board."
In the weeks leading up to Mr. Wonnacott's appointment he has had extensive discussions with the Board regarding the Corporation's opportunities, challenges and possible strategies. Over the next few months, Mr. Wonnacott's priorities will include completing the construction at the North American Terminal Operation ("NATO"), enhancing returns for the Corporation's shareholders and improving financial flexibility.
"Canexus is a company with solid assets that have great potential," commented Mr. Wonnacott. "Our sodium chlorate plant at Brandon has an unrivaled low-cost production advantage, our recently modernized and expanded North Vancouver chlor-alkali plant has significant hydrochloric acid capacity and our operations in Brazil are anchored by a 27-year fixed margin contract. NATO is a state-of-the-art crude-by-rail facility that is well positioned near Alberta's growing oil sands production and on a site that has additional attractive future development opportunities such as large scale condensate handling and storage. The site currently has two salt caverns with approximately 1.6 million barrels of capacity and the potential to construct several additional storage caverns. Our impressive portfolio of assets has not gone unnoticed either and we will continue to advance discussions with those parties that have expressed a potential interest in certain assets."
There is no assurance that a transaction, if pursued, will be concluded.
NATO Unit Train Construction Update
At NATO, the planned shutdown of the unit train operation began on June 17, 2014. Construction to further increase unit train loading capacity and connect it to the Cold Lake pipeline system continues to progress and the Corporation expects to start-up and begin commissioning the expanded capacity in late August. To date, approximately $290 million has been spent on the unit train project and the total estimated cost has been revised to $350 million to $360 million. The project cost estimate announced in January of $315 million has been refined with actual spend to date and robust estimates to complete including about $10 million of firm bids for remaining work, plus a contingency. This scope is expected to achieve the current contracted 6 to 7 unit trains per week. Some minor debottlenecking (4th loop track, two additional pumps, and a second incinerator) may be required to reach the 10.5 unit trains per week planned activity level expected for some time in 2015. This will be examined after start-up of the current scope.
Canexus produces sodium chlorate and chlor-alkali products largely for the pulp and paper and water treatment industries. Our four plants in Canada and two at one site in Brazil are reliable, low-cost, strategically located facilities that capitalize on competitive electricity costs and transportation infrastructure to minimize production and delivery costs. Canexus also provides fee-for-service hydrocarbon transloading services to the oil and gas industry from its terminal at Bruderheim, Alberta. Canexus targets opportunities to maximize shareholder returns and delivers high-quality products to its customers and is committed to Responsible Care® through safe operating practices. Canexus common shares (CUS) and debentures (Series III - CUS.DB.A; Series IV - CUS.DB.B; Series V - CUS.DB.C; Series VI - CUS.DB.D) trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about Canexus is available at www.canexus.ca.
This press release contains forwarding-looking statements, including in particular statements with respect to completing the construction at NATO, improving the Corporation's financial flexibility and enhancing shareholder returns, the potential of Canexus' assets, the attractiveness of Canexus' future development opportunities at NATO, the estimated total cost of the unit train project at NATO, including estimates to complete and contingencies and the ability of Canexus to achieve the 6 to 7 contracted unit trains per week, and expectations for minor debottlenecking on the ability of Canexus to reach 10.5 unit trains per week in 2015. By their nature, forward looking statements involve a variety of assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements including market and general economic conditions, future costs, treatment under governmental regulatory, tax and environmental regimes and the other risks and uncertainties detailed under "Risk Factors" in the Corporation's Annual Information Form filed on the Corporation's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Although Canexus believes that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because Canexus can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties.
The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and Canexus undertakes no obligations to update publicly or revise any forward looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.
Richard McLellan, CA
Senior Vice President, Finance and CFO
Lavonne Zdunich, CA