Canexus has a proven track record of growth and a strong portfolio of opportunities.
Our investments position us to take advantage of market fundamentals, sustain our low-cost advantages and help us expand into other growth opportunities.
When we make investment decisions, our goal is to increase cash operating profit while maintaining a strong balance sheet. We use our balance sheet to finance the right opportunities where we can de-lever quickly.
For example, in 2010, we undertook six growth projects, the largest of which was a technology conversion project at our North Vancouver chlor-alkali plant, which made us the regional low-cost leader.
We also expanded capacity at Brandon by over 12% in 2008 and, over the years, have almost doubled our chlorate capacity in Brazil. In both cases, we were able to de-lever quickly and return to our target debt-to-EBITDA ratio, including convertible debentures, of 2.5 to 3 times.
Driving Future Growth
We continue to drive forward with growth projects. At our North Vancouver facilities, two hydrochloric acid expansions have each added 110,000 wet metric tonnes (WMT) of capacity, increasing our total hydrochloric acid capacity by almost 150% to 370,000 WMT per year.
At NATO, we are expanding our Bruderheim terminal in two stages. First, we have increased our diluted bitumen and crude oil truck-to-rail transloading capacity. This was completed in Q3/13. Second, we are adding a pipeline-connected unit train operation. The initial phase began operating in mid-December 2013. We also have opportunities for further expansion on this 480-acre site.
We will also continue to evaluate other growth opportunities that build on our low-cost advantages and offer the following criteria:
- Critical mass
- Higher growth potential.
As the pie charts shows, our recent investments are shifting the relative balance of our segmented operating cash flow. By 2015, NATO is expected to be contributing significantly to our operating cash flow, providing more diversification to our cash flow.