SEPT-ÎLES, September 8, 2009—The Port of Sept-Îles is proud to announce today the signing of a financial partnership agreement with the federal government to boost the capacity of La Relance terminal, which mainly serves the Aluminerie Alouette aluminum smelter. Funding to the tune of $15 million, or 50% of the project’s cost, was awarded under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, which provides support for infrastructure renovation and construction projects. The announcement was made in the presence of the federal MP from Lévis, Bellechasse and Les Etchemins Steven Blaney, representing the federal government, as well as Aluminerie Alouette representatives and other Sept-Îles dignitaries.

The planned expansion of La Relance terminal represents a total investment of $30 million. The project consists mainly of building an additional silo and material distribution system, increasing the volume the unloading equipment can handle, and boosting the terminal’s aluminum shipping capacity.

Aluminerie Alouette is the biggest aluminum smelter in North America, with a production capacity of 570,000 metric tons a year, or 20% of Canada’s aluminum production. The planned addition of a silo to the raw material storage system will enable the smelter to meet its future raw material supply needs and ensure its long-term survival.

“The planned expansion of La Relance terminal is essential and will create both short and long-term jobs in the region. The project will provide Aluminerie Alouette and other users of these port facilities with the efficient infrastructures they need to remain competitive and consolidate their position as international leaders,” stressed Pierre D. Gagnon, CEO of the Port of Sept-Îles.

“For the second time in two months, our federal partners have given us the means to meet the growing needs of our current and future users by enabling us to carry out this major project for the region. The support is greatly appreciated and we applaud the federal government for this Infrastructure Stimulus Fund initiative, which is so important to our port’s development,” added board chair Carol Soucy.

The Port of Sept-Îles is at the forefront of the region’s economy and plays a key role in its development. It generates an estimated $1 billion a year in economic spinoffs and accounts for some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.