April 8, 2014 – One of the first signs of spring is at the port, where the Oshawa Port Authority kicked off this year’s shipping season by officially welcoming the first international vessel, M/V Heloise at a special Top Hat ceremony.
“I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to Captain Rushong Lu, Master of M/V Heloise, said Gary Valcour, Chair of the Oshawa Port Authority. “This is the start of what is already shaping up to be another busy shipping season. In fact, several ships are lining up to come into port.”
Donna Taylor, President and CEO of the Oshawa Port Authority, presented Captain Rushong Lu, with the traditional top hat during a special ceremony attended by local elected and industry officials. M/V Heloise arrived from Istanbul, Turkey to offload more than 19-thousand metric tonnes of steel. Her next port of call will be Thunder Bay.The tradition began back in 1829, and each year, the prestigious Top Hat is presented as a symbol of good luck to the captain of the first international ship to enter the Port of Oshawa through the St. Lawrence Seaway.
In 2013, the Port of Oshawa handled 43 vessels, carrying over 291 thousand metric tonnes of bulk cargo, making it one of the busiest years. The largest cargo was steel, with over 94,000 metric tonnes of steel imported through the port. Steel rebar is used in condo and office tower construction in Durham Region, the GTA and throughout Canada. Other heavy cargo arriving at the port last year included stamping presses imported from Germany for General Motors, a generator for General Electric of Peterborough, and a wind turbine.
“Each year, the port handles an average of $23 million worth of cargo, from asphalt and steel to grain,” added Valcour. “Last year was one of the port’s most successful years, and we plan to keep building on that success.”
The Port of Oshawa generates close to $6 million annually in federal and provincial taxes. It’s revenue that goes back into the local and regional economy.