Hutchison Ports signs Quebec terminal deal

Laurentia The Laurentia container terminal will be able to handle ultra large ships. Credit: Québec Port Authority

Québec Port Authority has signed an agreement with Hutchison Ports and CN (Canadian National Railway) to build and operate a CAD$775m deepwater container terminal.

Previously known as Beauport 2020, project Laurentia will be financed primarily through the joint investment of the three partners. The agreement stipulates that Hutchison Ports will build the most environmentally and technologically advanced cargo-handling facility in North America with the aim of ensuring efficient operations with a minimal ecological footprint.

“We are pleased to partner with the Québec Port Authority and CN to develop the Québec container terminal,” said Eric Ip, group managing director of Hutchison Ports.

He added: “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.”

Large vessel capacity

As a major inland deep-water terminal, Laurentia will be the only facility in the St. Lawrence area to accommodate the new generations of very large ships, said Hutchison Ports. It also benefits from a direct railway and highway connection and has the necessary space to efficiently handle thousands of containers per year.

According to a study from KPMG, for the construction phase alone, the project will generate CAD$500m in economic benefits and an average of 1267 jobs a year. Ultimately, the project will generate CAD$84m in economic benefits a year and will create nearly 800 jobs, including 500 direct ones, in Québec.

The container terminal project is currently undergoing an environmental assessment process with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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