The Saguenay Port Authority saw its revenues drop by $ 500,000 in 2020 due to the pandemic and its effects on cruise ships while the freight transportation sector had a strong year.
The General Manager of the Saguenay Port Authority, Carl Laberge, considers this to be one of the very good years for everything related to shipping and receiving goods for the Grande-Anse terminal. This is a very interesting performance as the specialized ports (containers) saw a decline in activity.
“The drop for cruise ships is out of our control because of the pandemic. This does not put us in a bad situation, since the activities for the transport of goods have been very good. We recorded a slight decrease compared to 2019, but 2020 was a very good year, ”insists the port director.
In 2019, no less than 630,000 metric tonnes of goods passed through the Grande-Anse terminal. The decline was 15% in 2020 and in a context of a pandemic that has had effects on the entire world economy, Carl Laberge considers that this is a very good performance.
The pandemic has affected the movement of goods for trade from across the Asian region. This explains the slowdown for the ports which mainly receive containers. The Grande-Anse terminal, according to Carl Laberge's explanations, is a “general” port which is able to carry out several types of transhipment.
Port activities are generally a good indicator of economic fluctuations in a region. The characteristics of Grande-Anse's last year of transshipment confirm that the industrial sector is doing well in the region.
“We have started shipping pellets to England. Barrette-Chapais has invested $ 18M in its storage complex. So we shipped 100,000 tonnes of granules. These shipments will increase to 200,000 tonnes, and this, in the long term from this year, ”says the facility manager.
The administration is obviously proud to be associated with this specific project. Pellets shipped by Granule 777 to England replace coal in power generation. This is a project that makes it possible to globally reduce greenhouse gases in the world.
“This is a smaller investment project than mining projects like those that are currently in development. But it’s an interesting project, since it’s about long term contracts. "
The terminal can also be used for smaller shipments in terms of volume, but which allow regional companies to sell internationally. “We also shipped a load of 10,000 tonnes of granules to Italy for Granules LG in Saint-Félicien,” adds Carl Laberge.
Rio Tinto's activities are not negligible in the results for 2020 for the Grande-Anse terminal. The company imported a large quantity of anodes via the terminal as it was overhauling its furnaces at the Alma plant. Grande-Anse also made shipments of aluminum from factories in the region.
“Shipments and receptions of goods with Rio Tinto have generated the movement of 1000 cars by rail service. Rio Tinto has rail infrastructure in the region and can transport cargo to our facilities. "
Carl Laberge emphasizes the relationship between Rio Tinto and the Saguenay Port Authority. The multinational operates port facilities at La Baie for the transshipment of bulk products. It uses the Grande-Anse terminal for certain more specific shipments or receptions of goods as part of its operations. All the same, this is a significant contribution to the Grande-Anse transshipment volume, which can vary from year to year.
“The Grande-Anse terminal is an important infrastructure for the economy of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. We can see it with projects like Barrette-Chapais. We are able to load goods in the Saguenay and ship them anywhere in the world without any restrictions and without going through another location, "concluded the general manager of the port authority.
See the original article in Le Quotidien (french only)