SEPT-ÎLES, August 21, 2014 — In the presence of a number of North Shore economic leaders, Jean D’Amour, Minister of Transportation and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy, Pierre Boisvert, Chairman of the Alouette Metal Shipping Committee and representative of the Shareholders’ Committee, André Martel, President and CEO Aluminerie Alouette, and Pierre D. Gagnon, CEO Port of Sept-Îles, cut the ribbon to officially open the Aluminium Logistics Centre, located at the Relance Terminal.
The new building, which includes cutting-edge automated equipment, required a total investment of close to $20 million. It is part of Phase 2 of a project aimed at boosting the capacity of the Relance Terminal. Construction of the Aluminium Logistics Centre was announced in 2010 by Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. Now operational, the 6,400-square-meter building has a storage capacity of 15,000 tonnes of aluminium. Before being shipped to customers over the “Blue Highway,” the metal is stockpiled in the new facility, where it is handled by an automated management system featuring automatic guided vehicles.
According to Pierre Boisvert, “Maximizing modes of use of the maritime seaway to ship our aluminium to international markets is an integral part of Alouette’s strategy for ensuring its long-term operations.” André Martel added, “The creation of this type of warehouse, with its leading-edge equipment, has a number of benefits in terms of both costs and productivity, and that help us stay competitive and meet our growing transportation logistic needs.” This type of innovation, combined with optimization of shipping work methods, means considerably faster ship loading and, by extension, reduces the time that ships spend at dock. Infrastructure is thus available for additional loading. Thanks to automation, Alouette is well positioned to deploy its growth projects. Construction of a closed building in a strategic location close to the ship loading area also means that aluminium sows are protected from the weather, especially during the winter.
“With the Aluminium Logistics Centre, Aluminerie Alouette now has access to a unique and innovative solution. Perfectly aligned with the Maritime Strategy that our government wishes to implement, this center will increase the competitiveness and the transshipment capacity of the Port of Sept-Îles, as well as reinforce the intermodal transport chain. This shows that it is possible to propel Quebec economy while giving a new impulse to our maritime industry”, said Mr. D’Amour.
Aluminerie Alouette ships over 450,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year — about 80% of its production — via one of the aluminium industry’s largest port facilities in the Americas. In Pierre D. Gagnon’s words, “As a partner in an economic development project like this, the Port of Sept-Îles contributes actively to making the region an international aluminium shipment hub”. Construction of the Aluminium Logistics Centre was made possible by the financial participation of the Federal Government, via the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, and the Quebec Ministry of Transportation (MTQ), via Part 3 of an assistance program aimed at reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, known by the french acronym “PARAGES.” In addition to main contractor, Hatch, a number of regional (Métal 7, Construction BLH, Groupe Trinor, Voltek), national (Mecfor, Rotalec) and international (FROG) companies took part in the construction project.
About Aluminerie Alouette
Established in 1992, Aluminerie Alouette is an independent aluminium producer. With close to 1,000 employees and an annual production capacity of 600,000 tonnes of primary aluminium, Alouette is the largest employer in Sept-Îles and the largest aluminium smelter in the Americas. The state-of-the-art Sept-Îles facility is a world reference in terms of energy efficiency and meets all government environmental standards.
About the Port of Sept-Îles
Boasting a variety of state-of-the-art facilities, the Port of Sept-Îles is the leading iron ore port in North America, with an annual volume of over 30 million tonnes. Its infrastructure plays a vital and strategic role in supporting the Eastern Canadian economy. The Port’s annual economic impact is estimated at nearly $1 billion, with close to 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.