News detail

22nd november 2013


Christine Cabau Woehrel, Chair of the Executive Committee at Dunkerque-Port, was named «Personality of the Year 2013» by the International Bulk Journal at the IBJ Awards, a ceremony held this year at the Salle Wagram in Paris on 18 November. Some 450 professionals of the international bulk scene were present at this event, during which a range of trophies are traditionally given to reward the work done in the dry bulk maritime transport sector.

Appointed Chair of Dunkerque-Port’s Executive Committee by Decree of the French President on 14 March 2012, Christine Cabau Woehrel arrived at Dunkirk with many years’ experience in the field of maritime transport, which she quickly put to use in the service of this major general-purpose port with its recognised know-how in bulk handling.

Dunkirk is France’s leading port for ore and coal imports, and more than 50% of its annual traffic is in this sector, which totalled nearly 25 million tons in 2012.

Dunkirk benefits from the presence of one of the largest steel industry sites in Europe with the three blast furnaces of the ArcelorMittal factory, which recently decided to launch a renovation programme of more than 100 M€. Besides its exceptional geographic situation at the entrance to the North Europe Range, just 90 minutes from the cross-Channel rail link, it regularly berths Capesize ships with its draught of 18.50m. The Port of Dunkirk intends to develop and promote its position as a European transhipment hub for heavy bulks, integrating efficient and reliable maritime or rail on-forwarding to an extended hinterland.

Dunkerque-Port also has an important place in grain export. With its exceptional access channels and the new handling equipment recently installed, the Port of Dunkirk can berth and load the largest grain carriers at very competitive rates. The volumes for the 2013/2014 season are extremely positive. Dunkirk also handles many types of specialist bulk traffics such as alumina, manganese, coke, cement and clinker, lime, feldspar, sand, etc, to supply the industries of the north-eastern quarter of France and the surrounding regions.

Since coming to head up the port of Dunkirk, Christine Cabau Woehrel has also focussed on developing the role of France’s third-ranking port as a deep-sea and short-sea container port. In this field the port also boasts outstanding facilities for berthing the world’s largest container carriers, and enjoys a unique location for concentrating short-sea and transhipment volumes.

Finally, during this particularly busy year of 2013, work has continued on Dunkirk’s LNG terminal which is the second-largest industrial project currently under way in France. This industrial and commercial commissioning of this site, which will have an annual capacity of 13 Gm3, is scheduled for the end of 2015.

This distinction of the IBJ Awards, a token of real recognition for professionals of the dry bulk sector, was presented to Christine Cabau Woehrel by the International Bulk Journal’s Director of Publication Ray Girvan. The French ports were particularly honoured during this event since the HAROPA Group, represented by Philippe Deiss, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Port of Rouen, was brilliantly rewarded as the «Best Dry Bulk Port» for the second year running.