During 2011, 56 ships berthed at the Port of Saguenay’s Grande-Anse facilities, carrying mixed cargo totaling 347,000 tonnes. This represented a decline of 11 per cent compared with 2010, which was an exceptional year. The volume of cargo handed in 2011 was nevertheless slightly above the average of the last ten years. This weakness in volume was a result primarily of weakness in the market for pulp and paper. There was only one export shipment of paper in 2011, compared with five in 2010. Exports of wood pulp declined slightly from 77,000 tonnes to 53,000 tonnes because export prices were unattractive.
Seventeen cruise ships berthed at the municipal wharf, three of which made use of tenders, for a total of 16,100 passengers. In 2010, ten cruise ships and 19,700 passengers were received.
Phase I of the Intermodal Marine Industrial Park (IMIP) was completed last October at a cost of $4.7 million with the construction of a service building. The Port now has 1.3 million square feet of storage space and industrial lots that have been developed as part of the IMIP. It is now ready to embark on Phase II of the project, which will involve the creation of an intermodal marine railway facility. A total of $2.9 million in capital investments was made in 2011.
The rail service project is on schedule with completion of engineering and environmental studies. If all goes according to plan, this branch line will first be used by the end of 2013.
2012 appears to be promising for the development and growth of the port facilities at Grande-Anse and the intermodal marine industrial park located there, considering the impending inauguration of the railway line project linking Grande-Anse with the national rail network. Saguenay Port Authority will continue its efforts to develop its client base both in the region and on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence with a view to providing the best possible service to future resource exploitation projects located in the Saguenay-Lac St-Jean area and in the south-eastern corner of Northern Quebec. Planned progress with respect to Plan Nord will undoubtedly have a beneficial impact on future development of port facilities at Grande-Anse.