Saguenay, QC – The Port of Saguenay welcomed its first ocean-going vessel of 2022 when the M/V Nordersand docked at the Marcel-Dionne wharf at the Grande-Anse Marine Terminal on Monday. Per tradition, the Saguenay Port Authority (SPA) marked the reception of the first international ship of the year by presenting a commemorative plaque and a basket of regional products to its captain, Sergei Diakonov.
The Gibraltar-flagged M/V Nordersand arrived at the Port of Saguenay from Scandinavia with a cargo of containerized general cargo. The 99-metre long vessel later departed for Varberg, Sweden. This is the second year in a row that the M/V Nordersand was the first international ship to dock at the Port of Saguenay.
The tradition of maritime hospitality dictates that the first ocean-going vessel to anchor in the waters of the Port of Saguenay be recognized in a special way, as is the case in most ports around the world. Once again this year, due to the pandemic, the presentation of the plaque and the boreal basket was adapted to take into account the safety rules related to the COVID-19. To be eligible for the title of First Ship of the Year, the ship in question must be an ocean-going vessel from a foreign port. It must have made its crossing directly, without having made a stopover before arriving at the Port of Saguenay, and it must come to carry out a loading or unloading operation. The M/V Nordersand was the first ship to meet these criteria, but the third to dock at the Grande-Anse Marine Terminal in 2022.
Assessment of 2021: a busy year
The Port of Saguenay had a busy year in 2021, despite the cancellation of international cruises for a second consecutive season, in accordance with directives issued by the authorities. For the Port of Saguenay’s facilities as a whole, some 1.28 million tonnes of general cargo were handled in 2021, compared to a total of 548,500 tonnes in 2020. The Port received 96 ships at its Grande-Anse facilities, compared to 71 the previous year.
This is due in particular to the favourable economic context recorded in 2021, despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The Port of Saguenay thus confirmed its key role in the ecosystem of the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes international trade corridor by, among other things, carrying out more bulk cargo transshipment activities, particularly de-icing salt.
For the first time in its history, the Port of Saguenay also transshipped 43,000 tonnes of sugar from Brazil to refining facilities in the Great Lakes. The year 2021 also marked the first full year of operation of the Port of Saguenay’s wood pellet export terminal to England. The year 2021 further marked the first full year of operation of the wood pellet export terminal of Granules 777, a Barette-Chapais company.
During a visit to the Port of Saguenay by Quebec Premier François Legault last August, the project to install a multi-user electric conveyor linking the industrial port area and the deep-water wharf received confirmation of its full financing, with the governments of Quebec and Canada each contributing $33 million. This electric conveyor will make it possible to reduce GHG emissions and make operations even more efficient, while adding to the attractiveness of the industrial port area. This is therefore excellent news in the context of the economic diversification desired for the entire Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
« The confirmation of funding for the electric multipurpose conveyor project, as well as the busy year we have just had, demonstrate the strategic role that the Port of Saguenay plays within the maritime ecosystem of the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes international trade corridor,” said Carl Laberge, President and CEO of the Saguenay Port Authority.
An action plan focused on sustainable development
The year 2021 was also marked by the deployment, by the Saguenay Port Authority, of a new strategic plan focused on the sustainable development of its activities and its industrial port area, aimed at supporting and guiding harmonious growth over the long term. As part of the deployment of this strategic plan, several concrete initiatives will be deployed over the coming months. Already, its adoption has led to the official creation of an administrative position dedicated to sustainable development. (Photo Port of Saguenay)