🇨🇦 Iqaluit deep-sea port will be ready for summer sealift: minister

By David Lochead, Nunatsiaq News - March 3, 2023

A staff-shortage preventing completion of a management plan resulted in the planned autumn opening being pushed back to summer, according to the transport ministry

Iqaluit’s deep-sea port, seen here during construction, will be ready by the 2023 sealift season, according to the Nunavut minister for economic development and transport. A lack of a management plan has delayed the opening of the port (📸: Government of Nunavut)

By David Lochead, Nunatsiaq News

A management plan for Iqaluit’s deep-sea port will be ready ahead of this summer’s sealift, says David Akeeagok, the Nunavut minister of economic development and transport.

Mr Akeeagok spoke about the management plan Wednesday after George Hickes, a member of the legislative assembly elected in Iqaluit, asked for an update on the project.

The deep-sea port was initially expected to be ready last fall, but the lack of a management plan delayed the projected opening to this year.

The nearly C$85 million (€80 million) federally funded deep-sea port allows ships to dock during all tide conditions. Without the port, ships have to wait for high tide to get close enough to unload their cargo.

The deep-sea port has had some use already. Two fuel tankers — Woodward’s MT Kitikmeot W and MT Qikiqtaaluk W — docked in December.

The management plan will detail the hiring and training of staff, as well as equipment and safety procedures. It is part of a larger operations plan that includes docking fees and operating expenses.

Mr Akeeagok blames the delay on lack of staffing.

“We don’t have a warm body to do the work,” he told Nunatsiaq News, adding the territorial administration has hired a consulting firm to finish the management plan.

Mr Hickes noted during this week’s exchange in the legislature that preparation for the summer sealift season has started and people need to know fixed costs to carry out their deliveries.

Mr Akeeagok said he could not say what those costs will be yet.

He told Nunatsiaq News that meeting with sealift contractors is in the scope of the consultant’s work and he does not know if those meetings have happened yet.

Regardless, Mr Akeeagok said he’s confident the work will be done on time.

“One way or another. The sealift will come and that port will be used.”

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This article has been fact-checked by Arctic Business Journal and Polar Research and Policy Initiative, with the support of the EMIF managed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

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