SEPT-ÎLES, October 14, 2014 – In a day that has seen announcements from two levels of government, the Port of Sept-Îles is pleased to announce today that Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the worksite of the new multi-user dock, which has reached a significant milestone with the completion of civil engineering works.
Prime Minister Harper was accompanied by the Honourable Denis Lebel, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Jean D’Amour, Quebec’s Minister for Transport and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy.
The construction phase of the multi-user dock, widely considered the largest maritime construction project in Canada, is now complete. All that remains is to install loading equipment. The $220 million construction project was made possible by a 25% contribution from the federal government under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund. Of the remaining 75%, private dock users Alderon Iron Ore, Champion Iron Mines, Labrador Iron Mines, New Millenium, and Tata Steel Canada contributed 50%, while the Port of Sept-Îles covered the other 25%.
“Federal government funding was pivotal in helping us bring the five new dock users on board as financial partners,” noted Carol Soucy, Chair of the Sept-Îles Port Authority Board of Directors. “By contributing to this project, which will have a huge impact in the region and all of Eastern Canada, the government has sent a clear message of strong support towards our region.”
The construction site will be closed by late October. Two shiploaders, currently in the final fabrication phases in China, are expected to be delivered in January and installed in early 2015. The multi-user dock is slated to open around early summer 2015.
“This strategic facility will pave the way for future development in the region and the Labrador Trough,” noted Sept-Îles Port Authority President and CEO Pierre D. Gagnon. “The dock will be able to service the world’s largest bulk carriers, known as “Chinamax” class vessels—the way of the future for bulk shipping. Thanks to their operational efficiency and larger capacity, these ships will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the number of ships moored in the bay.”
The dock is also a powerful driver of regional employment, both during and after construction. Nearly 1,000 jobs were created during the two years of construction, and 70% of them were filled by local workers. Once the dock is in service, it will create 150 to 200 new local jobs in such areas as railway transport, handling, and stockpiling. There will also be 2,500 to 3,000 new jobs in the mining sector as new mining companies set up operations since the delivery of the new shipping facility.
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 nearly 30 million tons. Sept-Îles’s port facilities play a vital and strategic role in Eastern Canada’s economy. The Port’s annual economic impact is estimated at nearly $1 billion, with some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.