Fertilizer ship docks in Charlottetown

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 31, 2015

The large vessel docked in Charlottetown these past few days is here to make the Island soil better.

The Tiberborg (the name Wagenborg is also displayed on the ship) sailed into Port Charlottetown on Christmas Day from New Orleans.

It's carrying about 20,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, half DAP (diammonium phosphate) and the rest MAP (monoammonium phosphate) for Cavendish Agri Services Ltd.

"They mix it and make fertilizer for the farmers,'' said Les Parsons, chairman of the Charlottetown Harbour Authority, adding that once it finishes unloading in Charlottetown it will be sailing up to Summerside.

The crew was supposed to start offloading on Sunday but couldn't due to the wet weather.

Fertilizer tends to cake when it gets wet.

"They wait for breaks in the weather. It's sensitive in the sense that it's sensitive to moisture.''

The fact the ship is flying Dutch flags had a few residents wondering what the ship's business was in Charlottetown.

People are used to seeing lots of cruise ships and the petroleum tankers.

Parsons said it isn't unusual to see large vessels docked at this time of year in the P.E.I. capital port.

But there haven't been many ships loaded with fertilizer sail in.

"Fertilizer usually comes in this time of year. In my nine years (with the harbour authority) there have probably been three or four fertilizer ships in total. This is the second fertilizer ship that we've had (this year).''

According to the harbour authority, the large delivery of product will save about 1.2 million kilometres of trucking and all the emissions from those rigs.