What the closure of an Arctic seaport in Manitoba could mean for Canada
It’s always a big deal when a small town loses its largest employer. But Churchill, Man., is not just any town — and its port is not just any business.
The Port of Churchill is the only deepwater link between Canada’s Arctic waters and its railroad network. Or at least it was before Monday, when Denver-based OmniTrax shut it down, offering little warning and even less in the way of an explanation.
The closure stunned the town of about 750, where roughly one in 10 people are employed by the port at some point of the year. The shockwave then rippled down the 1,300-kilometre Hudson Bay Railway through railroad communities like The Pas, Man., before fanning out into the grain fields of northwestern Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan.
The closure of this port, however, is not just a regional economic calamity, like a shuttered pulp and paper mill or under-capacity fish-processing plant.
At a time when climate change is opening up the Arctic Ocean to shipping, and powerful nations like Russia and China pose new threats to Canada’s sovereignty, the viability of the only deepwater port connected to the nation’s transportation network is no small matter. www.hellenicshipp...
Port Saint John signs lease with DP World for west side terminal
Port Saint John has signed a long-term lease agreement with DP World for the operation of the west side container terminal, the largest private sector investment in the port in decades.
“Our waterfront and our port is where our story began, and is where our future begins,” Port CEO Jim Quinn said during the announcement at the Marco Polo cruise terminal on Thursday morning.
“We are pleased to join together with a global trade partner who shares our vision for the growth potential of this port based on its geographic location and rail optionality,” said board chair Peter Gaulton.
The lease, which takes effect on Jan. 1 and will continue for about 30 years, comes on the heels of funding commitments from the federal and provincial governments for the $205-million upgrade of the west side terminal to accommodate larger vessels and an increase in traffic.
The Angolan government has confirmed that it is to spend more than $1.329bn in 2016 on three port infrastructure projects located in Cabinda and Zaire provinces.
President José Eduardo dos Santos has authorised the Ministry of Planning and Territorial Development to include all three projects in its 2016 Public Investment Programme.
Simultaneously, the Ministry of Finance has included the projects in the state budget for this year.
The two projects in Cabinda, which has no land border with the rest of Angola, are the deepwater port at Caio, where construction is already under way and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, and Cabinda ferry terminal.
The third terminal is the construction of a land and river terminal at Soyo, in Zaire province, which is the closest to Cabinda.
Source: Port Strategy