AAPA Seaports Advisory

Cargo Statistics: Georgia, Sept-Îles

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GPA surpasses 4M TEUs

The Port of Savannah handled more than 4 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in 2017 - an increase of 11 percent and the port's highest annual volume ever. For the month of December, GPA handled 323,000 TEUs, up 10.6 percent or 31,000 TEUs, for the busiest December in GPA's history.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal released his Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal last week, allocating $35 million in additional support for the deepening, for a total of $301 million in state funds. Currently, there are three dredges working in the Savannah River. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

Intermodal business at Garden City Terminal improved by 18.8 percent in December, reaching nearly 65,000 TEUs moved by rail. The GPA is scheduled to break ground on the Mason Mega Rail terminal in early spring. The project will double Garden City Terminal's rail lift capacity to 1 million containers per year, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.

As part of the Authority's ongoing effort to expand capacity, the board approved a $3.5 million expenditure to update four of its older ship-to-shore cranes to operate with greater speed and efficiency. In November, the Port of Savannah received four Neopanamax cranes. Another six will arrive in 2020, growing the port's fleet to 36 cranes, and allowing the port to move nearly 1,300 containers per hour over a single dock.

The Port of Sept-îLes - Working Towards Growth

The Port of Sept-Îles saw nearly 6% increase in the volume handled in the port with 24,231,000 tons handled in 2017 versus 22,942,000 tons the previous year. This growth is chiefly due to increased iron ore shipments from IOC Rio Tinto, Tata Steel Minerals Canada, and Société ferroviaire et portuaire de Pointe-Noire (SFPPN).

The year got off to a good start with long-term agreements signed between the Port and SFPPN a few weeks earlier ensuring the full potential for Pointe-Noire’s future development, specifically the arrangement giving priority to the connection to the multi-user dock.

In April, Société du Plan Nord, Tata Steel Minerals Canada, and Minerai de fer Québec Inc. (MFQ), a subsidiary of Champion, agreed to form a limited partnership to mutually determine shared operational and investment costs. This approach is based on the model introduced by the Port in 2012 for the multi-user dock.

In July, the Port concluded agreements that enable SFPPN to begin building a conveyor system connecting the multi-user dock to its storage sites. The work involved the Port contributing $2.4 million to the estimated $15 million project. The contract was awarded to local contractor Groupe G7.

In the same month, the Port and Champion Iron Mines Limited (Champion) finalized agreements to settle their contractual dispute, conditional on closure of the financing required to resume operations at the Bloom Lake mining site. This important step occurred in October and led to Champion paying all sums due to the Port at the end of the year.

The Quebec government’s November announcement of $26.2 million in funding for MFQ’s relaunch of Bloom Lake operations made the mine’s reopening official and opened the door to prospective shipments to the multi-user dock starting in the first quarter of 2018.

The year ended on a positive note with the closing of important agreements geared toward easing contractual obligations for mining company partners of the multi-user dock that have not yet begun operations, namely New Millennium, Alderon, and Champion subsidiary MFQ.


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