New administrator and new officers elected to the port of Sept-Îles board

At the last regular meeting of the Port of Sept-Îles board of directors, board members elected Carol Soucy as board chair and Keith Eldridge as vice chair.

Mr. Soucy, who has been a member of the board since June 2006, was appointed on the recommendation of Port users. The Port of Sept-Îles will once again benefit from Mr. Soucy’s extensive expertise, as he already served on the board of directors from 1999–2004, including two years as vice chair.

Mr. Eldridge’s term was renewed last May, and he was once again elected to serve as vice chair. Mr. Eldridge holds one of four seats on the board that are reserved for representatives of Port users.

During the same meeting, Port of Sept-Îles board members welcomed a new administrator to act as representative of the provincial government. Recently appointed by Minister Julie Boulet, Christian Michaud is himself from Sept-Îles and has worked for Métal 7 Inc. for over twenty-two years, serving as president and CEO since 2002. A winner of two Mercury awards from the 2005 Gala des Mercuriades, Métal 7 specializes in equipment production and repair for the primary sector, including iron ore pellet plants and pulp and paper mills.

The management team and board members are delighted by these recent appointments that will ensure Port development during this period of strong growth.

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.

Port project gets under way

Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu agency, working closely with its special partners, the Port of Sept-Îles, the City of Sept-Îles, and the ITUM Council, has begun a new phase in the project to bring international cruises to Sept-Îles.

The Port of Sept-Îles took advantage of the opening day of Sept-Îles Cruise Week to announce that it had begun the environmental process by filing a project notice for the construction of a terminal dock able to accommodate cruise ships. The Port also confirmed that it is about to award contracts for preliminary engineering work. Construction of the necessary port infrastructure should begin late in the year, once all environmental approvals are in place.

At the same time, key discussions and efforts with governmental stakeholders continue in order to complete a specific financing package for the port infrastructure. “The recent announcement that the two levels of government will inject nearly $100 million into developing new ports of call on the St. Lawrence River, with Sept-Îles as a profile destination, reaffirms and recognizes the efforts made thus far by project partners,” said Marc Brouillette, chairman of Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu.

It should be noted that to date, five international cruise ships have confirmed 2009 and 2010 layovers in Sept-Îles, bringing approximately 8,500 passengers and 3,600 crew members to our fabled region. A recent study on the economic spinoffs of cruises found that each passenger spends an average of $111 at each port of call, which could mean nearly $1,000,000 before adding in crew spending, which averaged $70 per member at each port of call.

Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu seeks to offer various public and private agencies “one stop shopping” that lets them take advantage of a permanent structure and work jointly to develop and promote their “product,” Sept-Îles and the surrounding region. Partners in the effort include the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam Band Council, Port of Sept-Îles, the City and COPIC of Sept-Îles, Sept-Îles Tourism, CLD de Sept-Rivières, and SADC de la Côte-Nord.

This project is reaching communities throughout the region who are coming together to say “ALL ABOARD!”

15% of tonnage increase at Port of Sept-Îles public docks in 2007

The Port of Sept-Iles is proud to announce an increase of 15% in tonnage handled in its port facilities. This excellent performance helps offset a drop at Iron Ore Company of Canada’s private port facilities. Overall, however, a total of 21,367,838 tonnes were handled in 2007, compared to 23,485,574 tonnes the previous year.

The Pointe-Noire dock in front of Wabush Mines experienced the largest increase, handling over 5,137,000 tonnes, an increase of 20% for 2007.

La Relance terminal experienced an increase of 12% with a record 2,151,000 tonnes handled. The increase marks the third consecutive year of growth at the intermodal terminal serving mainly Aluminerie Alouette. We note a 4% increase in aluminum shipments that have now attained 488,573 tonnes. These Blue Highway shipments constitute close to 90% of the smelter’s production, thus contributing to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through the use of this “greener” mode of transportation.

“We’re happy to see a steady increase in the use of both the La Relance terminal and Pointe-Noire facilities. The completion of the Relance terminal expansion in 2007 has further spurred growth, allowing us to accommodate larger ships while providing shipowners and operators who use these first-class facilities with increased flexibility,” said CEO Pierre D. Gagnon.

Board chair Élizabeth Blais added that “investments over the last few years in our La Relance and Pointe-Noire port facilities were made in response to users’ needs. We think of our users as valued associates and important partners and strive to offer them the very best service.”

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

Arrival of the first ship of the year 2008

The M/V Federal Polaris, a Bahamas registered vessel, sailing from Vila do conde, Brazil, was the first ship to arrive in Sept-Îles this year, at 04:55 hours on January 3rd, 2008. The vessel arrived with 26 000 metric tons of Alumina for Aluminerie Alouette and will set sail again on January 6th, 2008, destined for Vila do Conde, Brazil.

During a short ceremony on board the vessel, Sept-Îles Port Authority President & CEO, Mr. Pierre D. Gagnon, presented Captain Reynaldo P. Derige with the prestigious Gold Headed Cane bearing the Port of Sept-Îles insignia.

Several gifts were presented to the Captain by the Mayor of Sept-Îles, Mr. Ghislain Lévesque, as well as representatives of Aluminerie Alouette, Mr. Patick Coulombe and Mr. Tom Inglis.

This tradition, now in its 21st year, marks the arrival of the first ship of the year to call the Port. To be eligible, the vessel must come directly from a foreign Port and be bound for a destination outside the country without making any other calls at a Canadian Port.

The Port of Sept-Îles is a major player in the local economy and one of the pillars of its economic development. Its economic impact has been estimated to account for almost 4,000 direct and indirect jobs and $1 billion in annual economic activity.