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ACPA reiterates port financial flexibility demands

2018-03-01

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Responding to the federal government's 2018 budget this week, the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) stressed that Canada's ports need greater financial flexibility to fund vital infrastructure projects.

The budget builds on existing important investments in trade-enabling, green infrastructure, and superclusters, but there is still a gap to be filled through increased funding and financial flexibility for CPAs, said ACPA President Wendy Zatylny. "To take these investments in infrastructure and innovation in the right direction, the government needs to give CPAs the financial flexibility they require to fund the projects ready to go now, and speed up funding from existing government commitments to infrastructure funding."

While CPAs have a clear mandate, their lending limits are not sufficient for them to develop into leading ports of the future.  The National Transportation Corridors Fund was oversubscribed this year in the amount of $3 B, for a fund of $200 million in 2017/2018.

The ports association said it was pleased to see the government continue its pledge to support trade, innovation and the environment in Budget 2018.  Canadian ports are innovators, efficiently, safely and cleanly moving cargo and creating knowledge-intensive and technologically sophisticated jobs within the global supply chain.  One of the oldest industries, ports and marine transportation are adopting some of the newest technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

 
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