Québec, CN and Hutchison Ports Agree New Container Terminal

File photo courtesy of Québec Port Authority
File photo courtesy of Québec Port Authority

By The Maritime Executive 05-28-2019 05:37:11

The Québec Port Authority (QPA) has signed a long-term commercial agreement with Hutchison Ports and CN (Canadian National Railway) to build and operate the new container terminal.

The $775 million project will be financed primarily through the joint investment of the three partners. The QPA also has ongoing discussions with the federal and provincial governments to complete the financing. Hutchison Ports was selected after a competitive process.

The agreement stipulates that Hutchison Ports will build the most environmentally and technologically advanced cargo-handling facility in North America, and the terminal is expected to have one of the smallest ecological footprints of any terminal in the world.

Québec City will become Hutchison Ports' gateway to the East coast of North America with its fully intermodal deep-water port and its strategic location to reach the Midwest market.

The project will be known as Laurentia, reflecting the continental reach and importance of the new container terminal on the Saint Lawrence. As the major inland deep-water terminal in North America, it is the only facility in the St. Lawrence, which could accommodate the new generations of very large ships. It also benefits from a direct railway and highway connection and has all the necessary space to handle efficiently thousands of containers per year. According to a study from KPMG, for the construction phase alone, the project will generate $500 million in economic benefits and an average of 1267 jobs a year. Ultimately, the project will generate $84 million in economic benefits a year and will create nearly 800 jobs, including 500 direct ones, in Québec.

The deep-water container terminal project is currently under an environmental assessment process with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

More Development Underway

Earlier this month, QPA held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of a $30 million project to refurbish and upgrade port facilities. The upgrade is being financed by $15.5 million from the Government of Canada’s National Trade Corridor Fund for the restoration of strategic infrastructure.

As the oldest port in Canada, the Port of Québec has facilities that were built nearly 100 years ago and are now in need of major refurbishment. In all, three sectors of the Port will be refurbished: Anse au Foulon, L’Estuaire, and Beauport. A number of wharfs will be repaired and have new protective structures added, the drawbridge will be restored, and existing road and rail infrastructure will be upgraded, among other improvements.