Port of Sept-Îles, North America’s leading iron ore port, recently released its 2011 results. The port registered growth of almost 4 per cent with a volume of 26 million tonnes handled, a level not seen at the port since 1981.

Increased iron ore shipments totaling 22.8 million tonnes accounted for most of the growth. The Pointe-Noire terminal boasted an impressive 49% increase in activity. Infrastructure expansion, increasing capacity at the Relance and Pointe-Noire terminals, were delivered on budget and on time. These projects, announced in 2009, represented record investments totalling $63 million. 

In August, Port of Sept-Îles hosted the Annual Conference of Canadian Port Authorities, attended by over 200 delegates. Last held in Sept-Îles 20 years ago, the conference generated economic spinoffs estimated at $500,000. 

In November, 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 60 participants (shipowners, ports, terminals and shipyards.)

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

“With a projected volume of 34 million tonnes in 2012,” said Pierre D. Gagnon, Sept-Îles Port Authority (SIPA) 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, SIPA Chairman. “We would like to express our gratitude for our partners’ invaluable support throughout the year.”