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A remarkable year of growth and recognition

SEPT-ÎLES, January 17, 2012 – The Port of Sept-Îles is pleased to announce today the initial observations from a remarkable year. The port registered growth of close to 4% with a volume of 26 million tons handled, a level not seen at the port since 1981. The port also made national headlines by hosting the annual conference of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities and obtaining North American recognition as the first entirely Green Marine port.

Increased iron ore shipments totaling 22.8 million tons accounted for most of the growth. The Pointe-Noire terminal also boasted an impressive 49% increase in activity, reaching a record 9.4 million tons. Infrastructure expansion was also outstanding, as increases to the capacity of the Relance and Pointe-Noire terminals were delivered spectacularly on budget, on time, and accident free. These projects, announced in 2009, made for record investments totaling $63 million.

In August, the Port of Sept-Îles hosted the Annual Conference of Canadian Port Authorities under the theme, “Ports—Linking Natural Resources to Canada’s Prosperity,” with ministers Denis Lebel and Serge Simard in attendence. Over 200 delegates attended and were entirely won over by the city’s hospitality. Last held in Sept-Îles 20 years ago, the conference generated economic spinoffs estimated at half a million dollars.

In November, the Port of Sept-Îles became the first port in North America to get all its partners—terminals and users—to sign on to the Green Marine environmental program, a voluntary marine industry initiative bringing together over 140 Canadian and American members, including some sixty participants (ship owners, ports, terminals, and shipyards). Getting all the Port’s partners on board with Green Marine is a demonstration of the maritime industry’s willingness to pool its efforts and work together to continue improving on its excellent environmental performance.

In addition, at the end of the year, the Port of Sept-Îles became the third in North America to join the international Green Award program, which seeks to recognize and encourage vessels certified for environmentally sound practices and cutting-edge environmental technology by offering discounts on harbor fees.

“With a projected volume of 34 million tons in 2012,” said Pierre D. Gagnon, Port president and CEO, “we expect to reclaim our position as Canada’s second largest port. A number of challenges await us again this year, as we begin construction of a multi-user berth to meet the growing needs of current and future users. State-of-the-art, high-performance facilities remain a priority for us so our partners can be more competitive and efficient.”

“These remarkable results for 2011 have everything to do with the fruitful partnerships we’ve built with our many customers and users, as well as the federal government,” added Carol Soucy, chair of the board. “We would like to express our gratitude for our partners’ invaluable support throughout the year.”


The Green Award Foundation is a neutral, independent organization that has been certifying ocean vessels all over the world since 1994. It is headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The mission of the Green Award is to promote safe and environmentally friendly behavior on the part of ship management and crew by achieving international acceptance, regulation, and coordination of Green Award certification as well as by respecting international conventions and legislation and applying new technical developments.


Green Marine’s environmental program targets a number of issues including greenhouse gases, cargo waste management, conflicts of use (noise, dust, odors, and luminous pollution), and environmental leadership. While Green Marine is a voluntary initiative, participants agree to undergo a rigorous external audit to validate and reinforce the credibility of environmental program results. The environmental program is open to all companies operating in the marine industry in Canada or the United States. Green Marine won the prestigious Green Shipping Initiative of the Year at the 2011 International Sustainable Shipping Awards in London and has earned the support of a number of government ministries and environmental groups, including the World Wildlife Fund.


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 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.

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