Christening and Canadian registration of a new ship for Desgagnés



    QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Groupe Desgagnés celebrated today the
christening of their new vessel purchased in July through its subsidiary
Transport Desgagnés Inc. It just recently anchored in the Port of Quebec,
arriving from the Jiangzhou shipyard in China, where it was built.
Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu, majority shareholder and chairman of the board and
CEO of Desgagnés, also announced the Canadian registration of this ship
destined for service in the eastern Canadian Arctic.
    "With a length of over 138 meters, 20,000 m3 total freight capacity in
its holds and main deck, equipped with two 120 mt cranes which may be deployed
to lift 240 mt in tandem, rated Ice Class 1A and equipped with a 5,400 kW
(7,344 BHP) engine enabling her to achieve a steaming speed of 15.5 knots,
this new ship of the Beluga F-240 series is not only a milestone in Desgagnés'
history but in northern marine transportation as well, and as such, its choice
of name must be fitting to the occasion" declared Mr. Beaulieu.
    Therefore, it is with much pride that, in front of a number of
dignitaries and partners, the ship was named Rosaire A. Desgagnés, in honour
of Captain Rosaire Desgagnés, a well-known and much respected figure in the
maritime industry who was a pioneer in the development of marine operations in
the Arctic, and who brought an outstanding contribution to the success of
Desgagnés. The ship is also named in memory of Louis-Marie Beaulieu's father,
Mr. Rosaire A. Beaulieu, a hardworking man, who held a career mainly in
forestry in order to provide for his wife and 13 children. Appropriately, it
is his wife, Ms. Jeanne-d'Arc P. Beaulieu who, as godmother, named the ship
that was previously blessed by her son, father Julien R. Beaulieu, support
staff for the Military Diocese of Canada at the Trenton Ontario military base.
    The ceremony was also marked by the first step of the vessel's Canadian
registration, that will be completed within the next few days, and which is
necessary for its operation in Canadian waters. Mr. Beaulieu also added that
"although the vessel will be trading in Canadian waters for only part of the
year, Desgagnés must pay import duty fees in the amount of 25 % of the total
value of the ship, which represents many million dollars in additional costs -
an obligation that penalizes both shipowners and Canadian shippers". He also
pointed out that Desgagnés concluded a strategic alliance with the Beluga
Group from Germany to operate the ship on the international market during the
rest of the year.
    Mr. Beaulieu stated that despite the considerable investment it
represents, he is "pleased with the fact that this new acquisition, as part of
our fleet rejuvenation plan, will greatly improve Sealift services to the
Northern Communities, allowing Desgagnés to remain a leader in marine
transportation in the Arctic, which we have been serving for more than
40 years".

    Desgagnés, through its subsidiary Desgagnés Transarctik, is the leading
marine carrier of general cargo to the communities of Nunavik and Nunavut.
Desgagnés also works in partnership with Arctic Co-operatives Limited by way
of Nunavut Sealink and Supply Inc. (NSSI), a company providing sealift
services out of Montreal and Churchill, to communities in the five Nunavut
regions. Arctic Co-operatives (ACL) is an organization comprising some
19,000 Inuit members. Amongst the activities and services it provides to its
members, ACL undertakes and coordinates procurement activities and related
logistics for the co-op stores located in the great majority of the Nunavut
Communities. Desgagnés is also in partnership with the Fédération des
coopératives du Nouveau-Québec (FCNQ) through Taqramut Transport Inc. (TTI), a
corporation providing sealift transportation and related services to all the
communities in Nunavik. The FCNQ boasts more than 7,500 Inuit members, thus
representing the near totality of Inuit adults in Nunavik. Beyond being very
active in different fields of service activities, the FCNQ owns and develops
the co-op stores in all of the 14 communities in Nunavik and plays an
important role in the region's economic development.
    With its head office in Quebec, Desgagnés is a conglomerate that has,
since the 19th Century, specialized in marine carriage and transportation of
liquid and solid bulk, general cargo and also passengers. Its activities also
extend to marine vessel repairs and maintenance, as well as the rental and
operation of heavy machinery. The Company owns and/or operates a fleet of
16 motor vessels that cover the St. Lawrence River Network and the Great
Lakes, the Canadian Eastern Arctic, the East coasts of Canada and the United
States, as well as the seas worldwide. With gross receipts exceeding
150 million dollars, Desgagnés generates over 800 jobs in high season with a
wage bill approximating 35 million dollars.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Ms. Suzanne Laflèche, Groupe Desgagnés Inc.,
(418) 692-1000, www.desgagnes.com

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Groupe Desgagnés Inc.

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