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CN and Port of Sept-Îles share grand prize for excellence in transportation

Sept-Îles, June 1, 2010 – CN and the Port of Sept-Îles are pleased to announce that on May 27, 2010, the Association québecoise du transport et des routes awarded them with a grand prize for excellence in transportation in the “Freight Transportation” category.

This prize, which recognizes efforts to improve the performance of freight transportation networks and modes, was awarded jointly to CN and the Port of Sept-Îles for their development of a rail and maritime transportation route serving Northern Québec and Labrador.

An attractive alternative
Unveiled in November 2008, this transportation route incorporates a CN-owned train ferry that uses Port of Sept-Îles landing, marshalling, and intermodal transport infrastructures.

This alternative to road transportation helps improve transportation conditions in the North Shore region, notably by reducing congestion on Route 138, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. According to data published in 2006 by the Office of Energy Efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions from rail transportation are estimated to be six times lower (GHG) than those produced by heavy trucks, while maritime transportation boasts GHG emissions ten times lower, according to the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council.

Thanks to the solution by CN and the Port of Sept-Îles, the rail route to Labrador and Nouveau Québec is now accessible from all across North America. With the railcar ferry linking Sept-Îles and Matane, the major industries in the region (including mining companies) will enjoy an intermodal solution that allows them to increase their access to markets and thus boost their competitiveness and business development potential.

Sustained growth
Since its launch in 2008, the railcarferry service has steadily grown in popularity. A big part of this success is attributable to the joint efforts of three of its first customers—Aluminerie Alouette, the IOC Mining Company (Rio Tinto), and Wabush Mines (Cliffs Natural Resources)—all of whom contributed to the development of this innovative transportation system before its official launch. CN and the Port of Sept-Îles would like to thank them for their trust and support, and would also like to thank Développement économique Sept-Îles for its ongoing efforts over the years to get this service on track.

“Given the economic vitality of North Shore, due in large part to the booming iron market and the massive hydroelectric project of La Romaine, the new service comes at a timely moment to provide big industries with a cost-effective alternative for supplying their operations and an advantageous solution for reducing pressure on the overused regional road network,” said Port of Sept-Îles president and CEO Pierre D. Gagnon and board chair Carol Soucy.

“CN is delighted to receive a grand prize of excellence in transportation for this joint project. We will continue to work closely with representatives from the community of Sept-Îles with a view to continuing to do more to meet the region’s needs,” added CN supply chain solutions VP Keith Reardon and Jean Dumas, senior change manager in the CN Sales and Marketing department.

Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, B.C.; Montreal; Sept-Îles; Baie Comeau; Halifax; New Orleans; and Mobile, AL; and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto; Buffalo; Chicago; Detroit; Duluth, MN¬/Superior, WI; Green Bay, WI; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Memphis; St. Louis; and Jackson, MS; with connections to all points in North America.

Boasting a variety of state-of-the-art facilities, the Port of Sept-Îles is one of North America’s leading iron ore ports and in 2011 will become Canada’s second largest in terms of expected annual volume handled, with over 35 million tons. Sept-Îles’s 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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