Canada: Federal Government Provides Financial Support for Port of Sept-Iles
The Port of Sept-Îles has announced the financial support of the federal government for the construction of the multi-user dock in the Bay of Sept-Îles with a maximum contribution of $55 million, which is 25% of the project costs.
The announcement was made in the presence of the Honorable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and the Honorable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, along with representatives of the maritime industry and other dignitaries from the Sept-Îles region.
With the preliminary engineering phase complete, the Port of Sept-Îles has unveiled the conceptual plans for the new dock. Construction of the multi-user dock, at a cost of $220 million, will be completed over a period of 18 to 24 months. Located at Pointe-Noire, the dock will be built on the site of the old Gulf Pulp and Paper dock. Built on piles, the multi-user dock will have a 420-meter-long approach. The dock itself will be 450 meters long, with two berths. Construction is expected to start upon receipt of approvals this spring.
The Sept-Îles Port Authority believes that the completion of the multi-user dock will have a major impact in terms of job creation. Close to 1,000 jobs will be created during the two-year construction phase. Between 150 and 200 new jobs will be created locally for various rail transport, storage, and port handling activities. There will also be 2,500 to 3,000 new jobs that are directly related to the implementation of the new terminal and associated with the booming iron market that northern Québec and Labrador is experiencing with the arrival of many new mining companies.
This long-awaited dock will meet the growing and urgent needs of current and future Port of Sept-Îles users. “Many mining projects are advancing rapidly toward the launch of their activities and it is part of our mission to support them by providing state-of-the-art facilities that allow them to compete in the global marketplace. This new terminal will strengthen the Pointe-Noire sector’s major role in iron ore shipping in Canada, and with a capacity of 50 million tons annually, the terminal will become a focus of strategic development for the Port and its users,” explained Port of Sept-Îles president and CEO Pierre D. Gagnon.
The financial support of the federal government marks the eagerly awaited kickoff of this major project that will allow the Port of Sept-Îles to expand to meet the needs of the market. “The federal government’s assistance strengthens the financial basis of the project and once again reflects the government’s desire to be a major partner in the port’s long-term development and fully support the iron industry and economic development in eastern Canada,” added board chair Carol Soucy.
The Government of Canada’s contribution comes from the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, which supports transportation infrastructure projects to develop and operate gateways, trade corridors, and border crossings. The Fund supports the objectives of the Canada–Ontario–Quebec Continental Gateway initiative, which aims to develop efficient transportation networks in Ontario and Quebec for international trade. The fund is part of the Building Canada plan, which makes it possible to provide long-term, stable, and predictable financing to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada.
With a full range of high-performance equipment, the Port of Sept-Îles is North America’s leading iron ore port and will now become Canada’s second largest in terms of annual volume handled, with close to 34 million tons expected in 2012.
Sept-Îles’ port facilities play a vital and strategic role in the operation of a number of businesses from the region’s primary sector.
The port’s annual economic impact is estimated at nearly $1 billion, with some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs. Port activity at the Port of Sept-Îles therefore remains a significant source of wealth creation in Quebec and Canada.
Dredging Today Staff, February 21, 2012; Image: portsi