zoom The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide EUR 165 million (187.5m) to support the construction of a new sea lock at IJmuiden, the principal access to the Dutch Port of Amsterdam.The current Noordersluis lock was built in 1929 and the new larger lock will ensure that the next generation of bulk carriers, container ships and cruise ships can continue to access the Port of Amsterdam and the North Sea Canal, and is expected to reduce waiting time for ships.The new sea lock will be 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep, and able to operate in all tides. The IJmuiden sea lock is expected to support economic activity both along the North Sea canal and for companies using the Port of Amsterdam, Europe’s fourth busiest port.Europe’s long-term investment institution will provide 33% of the debt financing for the project, alongside a consortium of banks including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, UniCredit Bank, DZ BANK and KfW IPEX-Bank, whereas Rabobank is providing an equity bridge facility.The lock is procured as a public private partnership of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment through Rijkswaterstaat, and is supported by the province of North Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam.“90% of Europe’s international trade passes through ports and upgrading the IJmuiden sea lock complex is crucial to ensuring the Port of Amsterdam’s leading role. Amsterdam has more distribution centres than any other region in Europe and the port supports companies dependent on logistics across the Netherlands and northern Europe,” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.
by Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 15, 2016 6:58 am MDT Last Updated Jan 15, 2016 at 1:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Torstar laying off more than 300 production and editorial employees The Toronto Star’s Vaughan Printing Plant is pictured on Friday, January 15, 2016. The newspaper has said that 220 full-time employees and 65 part-time workers will be affected by a plan to sell it’s Toronto area plant and outsource the work. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young TORONTO – The company that owns Canada’s largest circulation newspaper, the Toronto Star, is laying off more than 300 production and editorial employees in the latest downsizing move in the hard-hit industry.The bulk of the job losses come from a plan by Torstar (TSX:TS.B) to sell its Toronto-area printing plant and outsource the work to Transcontinental (TSX:TCL.A), the country’s largest commercial printing company.The printing plant job losses include 220 full-time employees and 65 part-timers, Bob Hepburn, the Star’s director for communications, said Friday. These workers will meet with their union next week to work out termination agreements.Also Friday, 12 temporary contract employees in the Toronto Star newsroom had their contracts ended early, Hepburn said. Most worked in the Star’s tablet division.The Star hired about 70 to 80 people, mostly on short-term contracts, for the launch of its daily tablet-based publication called Star Touch.“We found that the launch has gone quite smoothly and the production is better, so … we’re ending those contracts earlier than originally scheduled,” he said.One permanent part-time employee was also laid off, Hepburn said.Paul Morse, president of Unifor Local 87-M, which represents newsroom employees at the Star, said the company is also eliminating 21 positions in the circulation department. Those employees will stop working later this year and their positions will be contracted out, he said.Hepburn later confirmed the additional layoffs, but said only 15 positions will be considered for outsourcing.The company also announced a new voluntary severance program in a memo to its newsroom employees obtained by The Canadian Press. Employees will receive details of the program on Monday, editor Michael Cooke said in an email.The switch to Transcontinental is expected to begin in July and produce about $10 million of annual savings for Torstar.The company is also looking for a buyer for its printing plant and land in Vaughan, just north of Toronto. Printing of Torstar’s papers will still be done in Vaughan, but at Transcontinental’s plant there.Torstar’s flagship Toronto Star newspaper has begun negotiating with its unions towards a transition.“Transcontinental Printing has newer, more modern presses and this decision will result in our very loyal print readers and subscribers receiving a high-quality print product with enhanced reproduction,” Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank said in a statement Friday.“This is an important step for the Toronto Star, but unfortunately it also means we will be saying goodbye to our long-time Vaughan printing plant employees.”The newspaper’s parent company, Torstar Corp., says it expects to record about $22 million in restructuring charges this year.The global newspaper industry’s transition away from print towards online publishing has been accelerating after years of more gradual change.The Toronto Star launched its Star Touch tablet app last year.It is modelled after a similar platform pioneered by Montreal-based La Presse, which stopped printing weekday editions at the end of December.Transcontinental is both a newspaper and flyer printer as well as a newspaper publisher that has also been adapting to changing market conditions resulting from the switch to digital media.The president of its printing and packaging division, Brian Reid, said in a separate statement from Montreal that the Torstar deal is positive for both companies.“This agreement further demonstrates the ongoing interest in our ability to help publishers across Canada become more efficient. This contract will also enable TC Transcontinental Printing to further optimize its capacity utilization at Transcontinental Vaughan.”