Temporary halt of activities at the Pointe-aux-Basques terminal
The Port of Sept-Îles has announced that activities at the Pointe-aux-Basques terminal are being halted immediately for an undetermined length of time. This regrettable situation has arisen in response to expert opinions obtained last week on the 65-year-old wharf’s deteriorating infrastructure and the evolving conditions.
The port and its consultants have been monitoring the wharf closely for a number of years to prolong its use. As of 2016, load-limiting barriers were installed on the wharf deck and operational restrictions were introduced.
Now that wharf operations have been completely halted, the port wishes to assure Pointe-aux-Basques users that it will provide all the necessary assistance to minimize the impacts of the closure and is committed to helping them make alternate arrangements.
The port and Relais Nordik Inc., which ferries people and goods between villages along the Lower North Shore aboard the Bella Desgagnés, have already agreed to apply their contingency plan. The ship’s maintenance and loading activities will be moved to the cruise ship wharf at the Monseigneur-Blanche terminal.
The port, with support from its users, has been requesting financial assistance from both the provincial and federal governments since 2016 and has been standing ready to proceed with its upgrades to the wharf as soon as that funding is made available. The necessary tenders and environmental authorizations have been obtained and finalized. Unfortunately the port is still waiting for the funds needed to complete the financial package.
Given the terminal’s strategic importance for the Lower North Shore as a supply point and gateway for goods coming in and out of the region and the interior, the port remains confident that financial assistance for the C$20 million project will not be held up much longer.
“The federal and provincial governments have always supported development at the port,” said Pierre D. Gagnon, President and CEO of the Port of Sept-Îles. “Given its strategic importance for the Côte-Nord, we’re sure they’ll step in with the necessary funding so that we can get the wharf restored.”