The Port of Montreal is in the midst of several major projects that will optimize and boost cargo-handling capacity and maintain and improve the fluidity of goods movement through the Port.
Viau Container Terminal
To handle steady growth in the container sector, the Port of Montreal has started building a container terminal in the Viau sector through a partnership with Infrastructure Canada and Termont Montréal, the operator of the future terminal.
Construction of the terminal will be completed in two phases. Phase 1 work, which started in 2015, will create container-handling capacity for an additional 350,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit containers) at the Port by the end of this year. The redeveloped site will include a full-service berth for container vessels, two state-of-the-art post-Panamax cranes, a modern automated truck-marshalling gate, an efficient intermodal service using on-terminal rail operations, and a high-density container yard.
Termont will invest approximately $42 million in new equipment at Viau Terminal over a two-year period for Phase 1. The Montreal Port Authority (MPA), in conjunction with the federal government, will provide a total of $83 million towards infrastructure at the new facility.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is a major partner of Termont in the Viau Terminal project.
“This project acknowledges the predominant role that Montreal and its port, rail network and access to highways play in the North American supply chain,” said Sylvie Vachon, the MPA’s President and CEO. “It is also a vote of confidence in the Port of Montreal on the part of MSC, a major global container carrier, and recognition of the quality of the operations team at Termont.”
“The Viau Terminal will help Montreal be more competitive and attract growth projects,” said Madeleine Paquin, Chair of Termont. “By nearly doubling the amount of TEUs that Termont can safely handle, it will allow us to grow in volume and efficiency. It will also allow MSC and others to bring more ships, more often, and to cover a larger geographic reach, thereby benefiting trade and economic prosperity.”
“Our daily existence has become dependent on globalization,” said Sokat Shaikh, President of MSC Canada. “The majority of what all Canadians buy at any retail point, along with manufacturing within Canada, is traded with countries worldwide. MSC’s commitment to simplify Canadian trade, as well as support the strategic growth plans of our customers, is at the core of all our decisions. The expansion of Termont at Viau will further reinforce MSC’s commitment to Canada, and serve our partners in business for years to come.”
The second phase of the project will provide capacity for Termont to handle another 250,000 TEUs, for a total of 600,000 TEUs at Viau Terminal. It will include the creation of a second berth and development of a complementary container-reception area that will bring the Port’s total container-handling capacity to 2.2 million TEUs.
Contrecoeur Port Terminal Expansion Project
The Port expects to reach its maximum handling capacity on its Island of Montreal territory with the new Viau sector development. The following phase of port expansion will be on land that the MPA owns in Contrecoeur, located 40 kilometres downstream from Montreal. MPA planning efforts have been ongoing for several years to develop in Contrecoeur a container terminal that could eventually handle a maximum of 1.15 million TEUs.
The MPA has taken steps to obtain the necessary permits for this project. From the beginning, it has also undertaken significant efforts to promote the integration of this project within the community, initiating a pre-consultation exercise with all stakeholders, including business partners, concerned government stakeholders, interest groups and local residents.
“Social acceptability is a cornerstone to any major development
project that significantly improves or expands the Port’s capacity,” said
Sophie Roux, the MPA’s Vice-President of Public Affairs. “Having the support of our neighbouring community and the social licence to operate is how we plan and conduct our business.”
According to current growth projections, the Contrecoeur terminal could begin operating as early as the beginning of the next decade. Construction of the terminal is dependent on factors such as continued growth of the container market and positive impacts from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.
The Contrecoeur Port Terminal Expansion Project reached a new stage in December when the MPA submitted its project description to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). The CEAA issued the final guidelines to the MPA in March for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.
Trucks will have an easier time reaching the Port of Montreal thanks to the construction of new ramps from a major highway and the extension of other roadways to the Port.
The Government of Quebec is investing $75 million in the projects to improve direct road access. The Quebec Transport Ministry, the City of Montreal and the Port are working together on the projects.
New ramps will lead directly between Highway 25 and the Port. They will allow trucks to directly reach the Port’s common truck entry portal and provide trucks leaving the Port with direct access to the highway network. The ramps are expected to be complete by the end of 2017.
Another project will extend Souligny St. and l’Assomption Blvd. to the Port. An overpass spanning Notre-Dame St. will be built to the Souligny St. extension.
“The ultimate goal is to create efficient traffic flow for the benefit of one and all,” said Daniel Dagenais, the MPA’s Vice-President of Operations. “This will increase truck fluidity, which will help the Port improve its competitiveness, and relieve local traffic congestion, all the while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”