In a Year of Uncertainty, the Belledune Port Authority Comes Out Strong
Belledune, NB – The Belledune Port Authority (BPA) held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) this afternoon – virtually due to the pandemic – and reported strong financial results for what was a challenging year.
Challenges faced by the Port in 2020 went beyond the Covid-19 pandemic; the closure of the Glencore Brunswick Smelter resulted in the loss of a major terminal operator and the pause in operations of the Trevali Caribou Mine all culminated to a reduction in tonnage and activity. Despite 2020’s challenges, the BPA still delivered a net profit of $1.6 million, reaching tonnage of 2.1 million MT, with 106 vessels calling on the Port.
In assessing the impact of the pandemic on operations, BPA considers themselves lucky; as a marine port that focuses primarily on industrial bulk product, there was a buffer to protect operations against adverse effects. While marine ports that relied heavily on cruise operations reported significant losses due to Covid- 19, operations at bulk ports remained relatively stable, including those at the Port of Belledune.
Speaking in her address to the audience, BPA Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Ms. Danika Keeley, said
“the key to weathering this storm has been the continued commitment of the people who work tirelessly within all areas of the supply chain network. As Chair of one of Canada’s 17 Port Authorities, I want to recognize their efforts and underline the contributions made by our own President & CEO, Mr. Denis Caron, and the talented team of professionals who keep striving towards achieving the BPA’s strategic goals.”
In turn, Mr. Denis Caron addressed the virtual audience during the AGM:
“Despite adaptation to a new working norm, our growth plans continued to gain momentum. Phase 1 of our expansion project was completed in 2020 and plans for work in 2021 are ready to go. […] In fact, 2020 was an extremely positive year for business development and financial performance having exceeded our net profit target of $1.4 million.”
Continuing the theme of the BPA’s response in the face of challenges, Mr. Caron continued: “As I look back on 2020, I see how my team has built a resiliency that will serve us well in the future. We learned how to adapt, how to embrace change and how to improve the health and safety of our people. Thank you to staff and our Board of Directors for tackling the challenges that was the year of 2020. […] Looking forward to a prosperous 2021, with a focus on relationship strengthening, responsible development and the collective work of staying safe.”