SEAWAY WILL REBATE $1.5 MILLION IN '91 TOLLS

SEAWAY WILL REBATE $1.5 MILLION IN '91 TOLLS

Saint Lawrence Seaway authorities are rebating to ship operators more than $1.5 million of the tolls collected in 1991, under a program designed to boost cargo traffic through the international waterway.

The U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. and the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Authority launched the three-year toll-incentive program in 1991.Shipments of seven commodities, totaling 5.2 million metric tons, qualified for rebates of more than $1.1 million under the "volume discount" portion of the program. (One metric ton equals 2,204 pounds.)

Shipments of steel, grain, iron ore, salt, stone and cement from certain U.S. and Canadian ports received a 20 percent rebate after exceeding the five- year averages for tonnage, said Kevin P. O'Malley, Seaway spokesman.

For new business, which includes new cargoes as well as traditional cargoes with new ports of origin or destinations, rebates totaled more than $400,000 on more than 1.3 million tons of shipments.

A statement from the Seaway agencies said the rebate was an "important factor" in the decision by Nerco Coal Co. to ship low-sulfur coal from Montana to Spain via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

These new business shipments are subject to toll rebates of 25 percent and 50 percent, depending on the cargo.

No rebates were given under a third portion of the program, offered to owners of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes fleets that agree to move general cargo when grain shipments are down.