THE PORT OF MONTREAL WELCOMES THE FIRST OCEAN-GOING VESSEL OF 2011

Captain Vikram Manchanda, Master of the container ship M/V Power operated by the shipping line Hapag-Lloyd, which arrived first at the Port of Montreal this New Year's Day, enjoys a champagne toast with Ms. Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (CNW Group/Port of Montreal)

MONTREAL, Jan. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), welcomed Saturday morning Captain Vikram Manchanda, Master of the M. V. Power, and his crew. By crossing the Port of Montreal's downstream limits at Sorel at 01:01 a.m., the M. V. Power became the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal without a stopover in 2011.

During a brief ceremony held aboard the ship, Ms. Vachon congratulated the whole crew and took the occasion to highlight the Port's importance to the economy of Canada, Quebec and Montreal in particular. She toasted the future of merchant shipping and a new year of commercial navigation to the Port of Montreal.

Flying the Bermuda flag, the M. V. Power is a containership operated by Hapag-Lloyd, represented in Montreal by the Robert Reford agency. The M. V. Power left the Port of Lisbon in Portugal on December 23 and docked this morning in Montreal at Cast Terminal operated by Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership.

During an official ceremony on Tuesday, January 4th, Captain Manchanda will receive the Gold-Headed Cane, a highly prized trophy awarded each year to the captain of the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal without a stopover.

About the Montreal Port Authority

Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is a major diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods - non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. It is a leading container port served by the largest container shipping lines in the world.

The Port of Montreal owns its own rail network, operated directly on the piers. It is connected to the two nationwide railways and the highway system. The Port also operates its own grain terminal and a marine passenger terminal that welcomed more than 48,000 passengers and crew members in 2010. All the other terminals are operated by private stevedoring firms. Port activity supports 18,200 jobs and generates $1.5 billion in economic spin-offs per year.

Photos of the ship and the Captain will be posted on CNW early afternoon.

For further information:

Jean-Paul Lejeune
Director of Communications
lejeunejp@port-montreal.com
Tel.: 514 283-7050
Fax: 514 283-0829
www.port-montreal.com