Iqaluit’s deepsea port is almost ready, but questions remain over how it will be run
Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes tells legislature he’s concerned an operations plan is not yet in place
With Iqaluit’s deepsea port expected to be ready by fall, Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes said he’s concerned that an operational plan for it is still not ready.
“We’re looking at as little as three months away that the port could be open for business, and there is still not a management model decided upon,” Hickes said in the legislature Tuesday.
He said he wants to know when it will be implemented.
Tower Arctic constructed Iqaluit’s deepsea port, which will be 430 metres long and be able to take in ships at all tides. Fuel tankers will also be able to offload at the dock with a new fuel line, in addition to the existing one.
But people still need to be hired to work at the port, and they will need to be trained as well, said Hickes.
In response, Economic Development and Transportation Minister David Akeeagok said the report is in progress and he will share it as soon as he can.
“I understand the urgency and I share that with my colleagues,” he said in the legislature.
The $85-million project was largely paid for through the federal government’s Building Canada Fund. The federal government announced in July 2015 it would kick in $63.7 million, while the GN contributed about $21 million.
A deepsea port promises to make cargo deliveries during Iqaluit’s sealift season much smoother, as ships won’t have to wait for specific tide conditions in order to bring ships in close enough to shore to unload. Instead, they’ll be able to dock at any time of day.
Akeeagok told Nunatsaiq News his department is working on the report to guide operations for the deepsea port with global engineering consultant Advisian, which also provided engineering work for the project.
The report will provide information around operation and maintenance costs, staffing needs, as well as how much the government will charge in feeds, and issues potential issues around loading and unloading.
It will provide similar information about a small-craft harbour set to be ready in Pond Inlet this fall as well.
Akeeagok reiterated his confidence that his department will be ready in time for the port to be in operation this year.
“We’re gonna get that done,” he said.