QUEBEC CITY, Jan. 17, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Port Authority (QPA) has performed the annual evaluation of its different activities on the dawn of the new year. The QPA has logged in record tonnage with close to 29 millions of tons of merchandise handled.
"This is an exceptional performance for the Port of Quebec. No less than four terminals located on the QPA's territory have had a record year. St. Lawrence Stevedoring, IMTT-Quebec Inc., Béton Provincial and Ultramar have all enjoyed an unprecedented year. For the others, this is in most cases their second best year since the millennium began. In short, everyone contributed to this success" mentions Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Quebec Port Authority. When compared to last year, these results correspond to a growth of over 18% of the tonnage handled, one of the best percentages of the kind in the country in 2011-2012. Based on the data currently posted by other Canadian port authorities, this growth positions the Port of Quebec in first position on the St. Lawrence for the tonnage handled in 2011.
The versatility of the Port of Quebec's terminals, as well as the great diversity of products handled constitutes one of the main strengths favoring the development of harbour activities. The important role played by the Port of Quebec in merchandise being transshipped to or from the Great Lakes will continue to represent a large potential for opportunities in the years to come. In addition, the Port of Quebec is also well-positioned in order to serve several of the mining projects such as those deriving from the Plan Nord. "The perspectives for the future are very interesting for the Port of Quebec. We have every reason to believe that we will remain a hub in the transshipment of liquid and dry bulk for Eastern and Central Canada.
The cruise season has suffered a certain slowdown in 2011, recording a decrease of approximately 20% when compared to the record season of 2010. More than 83,000 cruise ship passengers have visited Quebec City this year, while over 102,000 did so in 2010. However, the future of international cruises is nonetheless bright. Taking into account the data the QPA has on hand now, the 2012 season promises to be quite interesting in terms of traffic. Incidentally, the QPA expects that the numbers of next season will approach those of the record 2010 season. "International cruises are very important to us. Cruises generate large economic benefits for the region and they contribute to the consolidation of the value of the Port of Quebec as an important economic stakeholder for the Quebec region. No effort is spared and the work done in cooperation with the provincial government, the City of Quebec, Quebec City Tourism, the Cruise the St. Lawrence association, as well as the other ports on the St. Lawrence, already shows very promising results" added Mario Girard.
Just like in the past years, the Port of Quebec has also contributed to major crowd-gathering events such as the Cavalia show and the Image Mill. These activities, along with the recreational and touristic infrastructures present on the port's territory such as parks, bike trails, beach and so on, make the Port of Quebec a major partner for Quebec City in the maintenance and improvement of its citizens' quality of life. "The Port of Quebec is not just a transshipment location. It is also a privileged space that provides the population with continued, exceptional access to the St. Lawrence's shores. The harmony between these two realities is a goal that is constantly with us and inspires us", explained the CEO of the QPA.
The QPA plans on continuing the work started in 2011 in order to continue to take advantage of the business opportunities that will present themselves while working to improve and refurbish certain facilities. "In total, close to 50 million dollars will be invested in different projects at the Port of Quebec this year. These investments will come from private partnerships that we have established with certain of our partners and operators. From a financial point of view, this is probably the largest series of investments related to harbour assets since the construction of the Beauport sector in the sixties," concluded Mr. Girard. The Port of Quebec is currently working to realize middle and short term infrastructures projects, in cooperation with its partners and operators as well as the different levels of government.
The Quebec Port Authority is an autonomous federal agency constituted according to the Canada Marine Act. According to a study done in 2007 by SECOR, the activities of the maritime and harbour sectors of the Quebec maritime industry represent annual economic benefits of approximately $800 M for the country, tax revenues of close to $160 M for the different governments, as well as an essential contribution in supporting approximately 9,800 jobs.
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