Port of Montreal hails Québec budget support for marine industry

Le Port de Montréal salue les investissements de Québec pour l'industrie maritime


The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) has lauded the Québec government's commitment to solidly support the marine industry by announcing an investment of more than $1.5 billion in the Québec maritime strategy and for its intention to promote the implementation of logistics hubs.

For the MPA, concrete investments were initially announced: $75 million to improve direct road access to the port and $20 million towards the restoration of Alexandra Pier and the Iberville Passenger Terminal for cruise passengers.

"For a port, the flow of transportation is a measure of efficiency and competitiveness. That makes optimizing road access mission-critical," said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the MPA, on March 27.

"In this budget, the government is providing investments that will make it possible for trucks to exit more efficiently to the upper road network and decongest the local road network. Besides, any logistics activity that makes shipping lines need to come to the port to pick up or deliver containers is a win for us."


Termont future operator of Viau container terminal

Greg Wight, President and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation since 2008  recently announced to employees his plan to retire from the Corporation during the 1st quarter of  2015.
Mr. Wight joined the Marine Division of Algoma Central Railway in January 1980 as the Division's Controller. At that time, Algoma's Marine Division owned and operated 12 Great Lakes vessels and had revenues of $66 million.
Today, as CEO, Greg heads an organization that owns and operates 33 Great Lakes vessels and has interests in ocean shipping and real estate. In 2013 the Corporation reported revenues of $500 million.
Mr. Wight  rose steadily in the Company, holding a variety of financial roles, eventually moving to St. Catharines in 1996 following the sale of the Algoma Central Railway and the consolidation of the Company's marine operations in the city.
In addition to his responsibilities at Algoma and a number of positions with industry related organizations
"Come January, I will have been with Algoma for 35 years," Mr. Wight said "and I could not have asked for a better Company or group of people to work with. Algoma has risen to be the largest owner and operator of Canadian flag vessels on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway. The Company prides itself on its contribution to the Canadian economy and on the role it plays in the communities in which employees live and work."
Mr. Wight continued, "Algoma is a very strong company that has been recognized as one of Canada's Best Managed Companies in both 2012 and 2013."
"Greg deserves tremendous praise for his contributions to the company", said Duncan Jackman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Algoma.  "His leadership and focus have been so important to the success of Algoma, particularly during a period of such economic uncertainty.  Greg's accomplishments extend to the fleet renewal program he championed, which leaves Algoma well positioned for future success."
The Board of Algoma has engaged an executive search firm to assist them in the process of selecting Mr. Wight's successor and will consider both internal and external candidates for the role.
(Photo ACC)Greg Wight soon retiring from Algoma

Termont Montréal Inc. will be the future operator of the Viau container terminal at the Port of Montreal. Longstanding partners, the Port of Montreal and Termont Terminal Inc. signed a long-term lease on March 19, under which the private company Termont Montréal Inc. will invest $42 million in the initial phase of the terminal project. If container growth continues, Termont Montréal Inc. will invest an additional $30 M towards the project's second phase.  Upon completion in the fall of 2016, the terminal's handling capacity will be 600,000 TEUs, bringing the Port of Montreal's total container-handling capacity to 2.1 million TEUs.

This agreement was announced on March 24 by the Montreal Port Authority's President and CEO, Sylvie Vachon, in a speech to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. "I am very pleased by this agreement, which is synonymous with economic growth," stated Ms. Vachon, "And in turn, it shows that Termont has great confidence in the Port of Montreal. I'm sure this project will be very successful!"

Construction of the new terminal will get underway this summer, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. When fully operational, the new Viau terminal will generate 2,500 direct and indirect jobs, along with $340 million in economic benefits.


Spliethoff announces regular Valleyfield calls


The Cleveland Europe Express (CEE) service of Amsterdam-based Spliethoff Group will be offering two sailings a month, effective this spring, that will integrate regular calls to the Port of Valleyfield, on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Montreal. A first vessel is expected at the Valport terminal (which handles general, project and bulk cargo) soon after the 2015 Seaway season opens on April 2.

The CEE service was launched last April with one monthly call by Spliethoff multi-purpose vessels carrying containers and breakbulk. It is the first regularly-scheduled service with a container dimension between Europe and the Great Lakes in several decades.

"We will have 2 sailings per month this year and we will call Valleyfield Quebec (Montreal) on many of the voyages," Torin Swartout, Vice-President of Spliethoff, told Maritime Magazine. "This will allow us to carry cargo between USA and Canada (and vice versa),  and from both countries to and from Europe and beyond."

Mr. Swartout added: "We handled a lot of cargo to places far beyond Europe in our first year of operation and we are seeing that trend continuing in 2015.
Our first voyages are fully booked and we deeply appreciate the support the trade is giving us, both with containers, breakbulk and roro.

"The mv Floragracht has  already sailed  from Antwerp enroute to the Great Lakes. She will  be followed by the Florijngracht and the Fagelgracht."  Photo Mark Beale