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Friday, January 16, 2015

Windsor’s port part of $7-billion renovation boom in shipping industry

The Windsor Star/Dave Battagello

More the $7 billion has been spent -- including more than $60 million in Windsor -- to improve infrastructure the last five years throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping network, according to a study released this week.

The investment helps ensure Windsor will remain a key port and vital part of the waterway’s growing success, said David Cree, CEO for the Windsor Port Authority.

“We hope the public appreciates the scale of investment to keep the seaway modern and efficient,” Cree said.

The local ports are an important cog in North America’s busiest trade corridor, he said.

“The really unique part is the new build in ships,” Cree said. “We have had more vessels built (in the last five years) than the past 30 years.”

He cited the removal of import duty as the reason for the surge in shipbuilding.

New port investment in Windsor includes the new $30-million HMCS Hunter building at the foot of Mill Street and another $30 million spent improving the Sterling Fuel-Miller Aggregates dock in the 3600 block of Russell Street.

About two-thirds of the money invested in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system came from private companies with the remainder from government funding, according to the investment study by maritime trade consultants Martin Associates.

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