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Seaway facing imminent strike-induced traffic halt

2014-10-29

The St. Lawrence Seaway, which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the industrial heartland of North America, could be closed to all traffic as of mid-day on Friday, Oct. 31, if a last minute compromise is not reached with the union representing 460 workers which has served a legal strike notice. The last strike to hit the Seaway was in 1968.

A shut-down would be a severe blow to domestic carriers and foreign flag operators gearing up for a surge of business between now and closing of commercial navigation in late December prior to the annual winter recess. Latest cargo statistics showed overall volume up about 5% on a waterway which handled 37 million tonnes in 2013.

Key issue is the hands-free mooring system that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) plans to phase in on all the system's 13 Canadian locks by 2018.

Dozens of jobs would be lost as a result of an automated system during a lock transit without lines tied to a bollard through the use of vacuum pads mounted to a rail attached to the lock wall (see photo). Thus far, one lock, at Beauharnois near Montreal, has been retrofitted.

The union, UNIFOR, served a 72-hour strike notice on October 28 as talks involving a federal mediator on renewing a three-year-old collective agreement were still at an impasse.

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Davie and Aecon Atlantic announce partnership

Davie et Aecon annoncent un accord de coopération

2014-10-27

Chantier Davie Canada Inc. and Aecon Atlantic Inc. announced on Oct. 27 the signing of a cooperation agreement to work on marine-related projects.

The agreement includes the following elements:

Combine fabrication capacities to increase speed and cost of delivery for major marine commercial and naval programs - use a modern production/assembly approach by producing and assembling ship sections at multiple sites - provide greater geographical reach and flexibility for joint programs - skills and knowledge sharing on joint programs.

Aecon Atlantic's fabrication facility is based in Pictou, Nova Scotia and possesses high-volume fabrication capacities, marine facilities and a diverse base of local subcontractors. Davie is based in Lévis, Québec and is Canada's largest shipbuilder.

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Fednav's Nunavik completes historic Northwest Passage voyage to China

2014-10-21

After departing from Deception Bay in northern Québec on September 19 with a cargo of nickel concentrate, Fednav's Nunavik completed its historic voyage through the Northwest Passage to its destination port in China on October 15.

The newest and most powerful icebreaking ship in the fleet of Montreal-based Fednav was the first to transit the NWP completely and unescorted with an Arctic cargo, which was unloaded at the port of Bayuquan, Liaoning Province, China.

Master of the 31,700 DWT bulk carrier was Captain Randy Rose, a mariner with 25 years of experience in Arctic shipping. And the chief engineer was Gary Bishop, who was on board to initially take delivery of the Nunavik in Japan before proceeding through the Panama Canal to Deception Bay and then to China via the NWP.

By favouring the NWP over a traditional route via the Panama Canal, the Nunavik saved about 5,000 nautical miles or 20 days sailing time and more than 1,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. (Photo Tim Keane/Fednav)

 
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Logistec inaugurates enhanced Contrecoeur terminal

2014-10-15

Logistec Corporation welcomed nearly 100 employees, customers, partners, and suppliers at its Contrecoeur terminal in the Port of Montreal to celebrate its modernization and inaugurate the facility's new equipment.
"Our investment of nearly $12 million will allow us to move larger volumes and work with a more diversified cargo base in Contrecoeur," stated Madeleine Paquin, President and CEO, in a ceremony on October 9.

"In addition to the bulk cargo that the terminal is known for, we have enhanced our ability to handle break-bulk, project cargo, and heavy lift," Ms Paquin said, stressing that its strategic location provided ample, direct access to railways, highways as well as barge services.

"With the upgrades that we've put in place, Logistec's Contrecoeur terminal is now one of the most modern, efficient bulk-handling facilities along the St. Lawrence River. We foresee a bright future for this vital part of our network."

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