Mario Girard, President and CEO of Quebec Port Authority (QPA), welcomes the federal government’s financial support for the Beauport 2020 project for a multifunctional deep-water terminal. This project is expected to promote economic growth in the region and to contribute to the country’s competitiveness at the international level. “The Port of Quebec welcomes the federal government’s support. With the increase in international marine transportation, the expansion of the Panama Canal and massive investment in U.S. ports, the federal government’s support will allow Port of Quebec to offer strategic infrastructure that will increase the competitiveness of the Canadian maritime industry,” said Mr. Girard.
The international marine transportation market is experiencing sustained growth that has been beneficial to the Port’s activities, thanks in part to its strategic advantage of having 15-metre depth at low tide. Various government actions such as the upcoming Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and the Maritime Strategy will likely stimulate the need for additional maritime transportation infrastructure. Port of Québec contends with congestion at its docks at peak times, and suffers from lack of land available for creating new partnerships. These problems undermine the competitiveness of Canadian ports in relation to U.S. ports. Finally, Port of Quebec must generate sufficient revenues to carry out repairs to its existing infrastructure, which is the oldest in the country. To face these challenges, QPA has put forward a strategic plan to develop new port infrastructure. Its Beauport 2020 – Phase 1 project is located in the port sector of Beauport.
The project, requiring an investment of $190 million, proposes to extend the current wharf line by 610 metres with a depth of 16 metres, create 18.5 hectares of new land, and rebuild and redesign the existing beach. The process will be subject to an environmental assessment process involving public participation, and each new project that could be established in this new space must be submitted to a similar environmental assessment process involving public participation. New terminals will be completely covered, and the Port Authority will favour projects that involve intermodality with a small carbon footprint. In addition, it will ensure that the Beauport Bay beach is rebuilt and redesigned.
“Today’s announcement equals nothing less than the biggest investment in Port of Quebec since the Beauport sector was built in the 1960s. This sector and its water depth have allowed the port to become what it is today: an essential hub for Canadian foreign trade and a unique multimodal transfer point on the St. Lawrence,” concluded Mr. Girard.
By the end of the summer, the Port will present the expected timeline for the development of the project, which involves creating a commissioners’ office to ensure public consultations are carried out.