The Québec Port Authority (QPA) announced plans to build a new $400 million container terminal as the port seeks to offer a competitive alternative in the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes market.
In a speech to the Québec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, port president and CEO Mario Girard noted that the opening of the new 15-meter-deep Panama Canal in 2016 and the emergence of next-generation ships requiring deep-water ports is completely changing the landscape of commercial shipping, making it harder for the St. Lawrence, as it currently stands, to compete with American ports in the container market. Girard stressed that the Port of Québec, with its water depth of 15 meters and full intermodality, therefore has a distinctive advantage in the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes Trade Corridor.
“We’ve got a tremendous opportunity here and we have all we need to succeed,” Girard said. “Our vision is simple and strategic: make Québec City a hub for maritime logistics on the continent. We’ll succeed by rallying around this promising project. And in this vein, I’m reaching out to all stakeholders in the St. Lawrence so we can all work together to promote the St. Lawrence. More than ever, we must join forces to make the St. Lawrence more competitive.”
The container terminal project, part of the Beauport 2020 expansion, would require a $400 million investment to facilitate a 610-meter extension of the wharf line as well as the development of 17-hectare area behind the wharf with links to existing rail and road networks.
According to the QPA, the new container terminal could create a new international economic hub geared toward logistics, distribution centers and new businesses on the shortest route between Europe and the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes region, home to 110 million consumers and more than 40 percent of the U.S. manufacturing industry.
“Québec is a city whose history and development are closely tied to maritime economic activity,” said Québec City mayor Régis Labeaume in comments on Beauport 2020. “Developing the Port of Québec and improving the existing facilities are priorities for the region. Building a container terminal as part of the Beauport 2020 expansion project will have a major impact on the economy by creating a new continental deep-water logistics hub, which will be a major asset for the Port. The governments of Québec and Canada must offer their unmitigated support for the project so that Québec and Eastern Canada can compete with big U.S. ports and to make the Port of Québec Europe’s gateway to trade in North America.”