Rio Tinto Alcan made a major announcement Wednesday regarding the Kitimat Modernization Project. Kuehne + Nagel Ltd., a major multi-national freight forwarder and logistics specialist has been awarded a significant contract with Bechtel and will serve the KMP.
They have formed an innovative joint venture with the Haisla Business Operations to provide local content to their service offerings on the project and to allow for capacity development opportunities for local residents. This joint venture has yet to be formally named but an agreement has been signed.
Representatives from RTA, HBO, Kuehne + Nagel and Bechtel gathered at the RTA Kitimat offices in the City Centre Mall Wednesday for a presentation ceremony and luncheon.
Michelle Lamarre, RTA Project Developer of KMP was thrilled with the contract.
“I think it’s very good, it’s certainly a long term relationship that can be very beneficial to everybody. There will always be a need for good transportation from A to B,” says Lamarre.
Lamarre also mentioned the significance the local partnership with the HBO on a community level.
“It means more involvement with the local community. We try to involve ourselves as much as we can locally and this is further proof. We are very proud of that,” says Lamarre.
Project Director of Bechtel Andy Lederman mentioned a great track record and history with Kuehne and Nagel was key to their decision.
“This company will hit our target of bringing on a global supplier for a major service and also incorporating local participation with the joint venture between HBO and Kuehne + Nagel,” says Ledermen. “It’s what we want, we’ve worked with them before across the globe and Rio Tinto has also. This is a great day for the project and a great day for the community.”
Kuehne + Nagel had a pair of representatives in Kitimat including Project Managers Mike Schoofs and Dirk Vogt from Toronto and Vancouver. They were delighted to be awarded the contract.
“We are absolutely excited, it’s been a long road, over four years with all the economic upturns and downturns. We are very delighted that we were able to get awarded with this business,” says Schoofs. “We hope to now partner with the community and give back a little bit of the support we have experienced in the past times. We are really, really glad and happy about it.”
Schoofs spoke glowingly about the town and described how welcome the people of Kitimat make him feel.
“It is always very friendly, I always felt that whenever we came here we were very much welcomed. All of us are from Germany and don’t speak the language so well and so on but we always have a good time here,” says Schoofs. “We’ve met friends and we meet whenever we come back so it’s great to be able to continue this now and journey on into the future.”
The foundation for the partnership between Kuehne + Nagel and the Haisla people was originally laid when the two sides met at a KMP Contractor Forum held in Vancouver last June.
“It was a great opportunity for us to partner with the Haisla. I can only say real positive things about it,” says Schoofs. “It’s always been an arms length negotiation, very easy to deal with and very accommodating and I think we’ve come up with an agreement that is really going to benefit both partners.”
Some of the companies major contract duties involved include provision of freight forwarding logistics services, such as road, rail, air and sea transportation, customs brokerage, and assorted value added services.