SEPT-ÎLES, January 14, 2009—The Port of Sept-Îles is proud to announce that its cargo handling activities increased nearly 6% in 2008—over a million metric tons. That means some 22,621,581 metric tons were handled in 2008 compared to 21,367,838 metric tons during the previous year. Highlights include the fourth consecutive year of business volume growth for the La Relance terminal, with 2,174,863 metric tons handled. Aluminum shipments via the Blue Highway remained steady in 2008 with 490,665 metric tons shipped, representing nearly 90% of Aluminerie Alouette production. Traffic at the Port of Sept-Îles diversified in 2008 thanks to the new railway transshipment center and railcar ferry at La Relance terminal. The Georges Alexandre Lebel railcar ferry made over 30 trips during the year, transporting over 30,000 metric tons of goods for our major industries.

“The inauguration of a railway transshipment center served by the Georges-Alexandre Lebel railcar ferry last November marked a major milestone in the Port’s history by providing new infrastructure for our industry, our region, and our projects in the North,” said Port of Sept-Îles CEO Pierre D. Gagnon, adding, “We live in an age where climate change forces us to reduce our environmental footprint by adopting better practices. This new service arrives just in time. By combining more energy efficient sea and rail transportation methods, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide an alternative to an already overcrowded Highway 138.”

“The success of this project undoubtedly rests on the invaluable assistance provided by the Port’s main users and COPIC (Corporation de promotion industrielle et commerciale de Sept-Îles) over the last fifteen years,” stated board chair Carol Soucy. “In particular, I wish to mention Wabush Mines’ extraordinary initiative in allowing the Port to be linked to their network. This is a testament to the mining company’s desire to support the success and development of the local economy and industry,” he added.

The Port of Sept-Îles is in the forefront of the region’s economy and plays a key role in its development. The Port’s annual economic impact has been estimated at $1 billion, with some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.