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Despite the pandemic’s worldwide disruption of economic activity, the Port of Sept-Îles continued to grow, with a 13% increase in volume handled or 33,076,357 tonnes in 2020 versus 29,324,703 tonnes for the previous year. It was the second-best year since the record-setting 34,948,000 tonnes handled in 1979, and the best year since the Sept-Îles Port Authority was created in 1999.

This volume of cargo also lifted the Port to third among Canadian ports, chiefly due to a 14% year-over-year increase in iron ore shipments.

In 2020, 508 ships anchored in the Bay of Sept-Îles—26 more than in 2019. The cruise industry suffered in 2020 due to a country-wide ban on cruise ship traffic during the pandemic. This is a major change from 2019, which was a record year with eight stopovers and 18,655 passengers and crew.

The $24.6 million growth in revenues (+18%) stems mainly from increased activities at the multi-user dock. Operating expenses fell 9% to $14.1 million due to lower administrative expenses for the year.

Higher revenues and lower operating expenses resulted in a healthy year-end operating income of $10.5 million, up $5.3 million from the previous year.

Other items were exceptionally impacted by amounts related to the settlement of the $5.5 million multi-user dock construction dispute, as well as by changes in the fair market value of interest-rate swaps.

The overall result is a positive balance of $12.8 million, down from $14.7 million the previous year.

Key investments made by the Port during the year were allocated to the Pointe-aux-Basques terminal rehabilitation project ($17.7 million), the new multi-user dock service building ($3.2 million), and the $13.3 million in compensation the Superior Court of Quebec awarded in April 2020 to Pomerleau Inc., which had filed a motion for over $59 million in 2014.