Port of Quebec Gains Support for New Container Terminal

Rendering of planned new Laurentia Container Terminal - courtesy Port of Quebec

Published Jun 12, 2020 6:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

More than one hundred companies have given their support to the development of the Port of Québec's deepwater container terminal project, which port officials say will create more efficient access to the international markets in Asian and Europe. Announced in 2019, the project is designed to develop a new infrastructure to alleviate strains on the port that is currently operating at full capacity.

Construction on the new terminal project is scheduled to begin in 2021. Named Laurentia, the project includes a wharf with a 16-meter water depth, capacity to accommodate 13,000 TEU container ships, and a direct connection to a high-performance rail transportation network that can reach one hundred million North American consumers.

The Québec Port Authority entered into a long-term commercial agreement with Hutchison Ports and CN (Canadian National Railway) to build and operate the new container terminal. Projected to cost $775 million, the Quebec Container Terminal, operated by Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) and Canadian National (CN), will open in early 2024.

"With Laurentia, the Québec City region will act as a hub for intelligent intermodal transportation across North America,” said Mario Girard, President & Chief Executive Officer, Québec Port Authority.  “To have already received the support of a hundred import-export companies is further tangible proof of the need for Laurentia in the Québec City region, but also for our province and our country. The players who are supporting us recognize the major benefits that Laurentia brings to their commercial activities." 

Among the companies releasing statements in support of the new port was food logistics solution provider Congebec, the Association québécoise de l'industrie de la pêche, which represents more than 90% of the marine product volume processed in Quebec, pork producer Breton Tradition 1944 and Resolute Forest Products.

"Hutchison Ports is pleased to partner with the Québec Port Authority and CN Rail to develop the Québec container terminal in support of the Laurentia vision,” said Clemence Cheng, Executive Director Hutchison Ports.  “Québec City will become Hutchison Ports' gateway to the East coast of North America. With its fully intermodal deep-water port, its strategic location to reach the Midwest market, and the strong support shown by the local authorities, the Québec project has all the attributes to be successful in this highly important market."

The Port estimates that the construction of the new facility will require five years and will create 1,200 jobs.