Federal government invests in container handling at Port of Montreal

by MM&D staff

MONTREAL, Quebec: Over the next two years, there will be major changes at the Port of Montreal.

An investment of $15.1 million by the federal government will allow the port to significantly increase the volume of cargo that can be handled.

The first part of the project will modernize the Maisonneuve Sector with a fully optimized terminal. By relocating and renovating buildings at the terminal the port will add approximately capacity for 50,000 TEUs. This will increase the terminal’s throughput capacity to 520,000 TEUs.

The second part of the project will convert a bulk area in the Viau Sector into a container area. The new space, which will be created by demolishing existing buildings and improving the adjacent railway track, will accommodate 150,000 containers.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of March 2014. Once finished, the total annual container handling capacity at the Port of Montreal will have risen to 1.8 million TEUs, which is a 12.5 percent increase over current capacity. The full cost for the project is estimated to be $39.25 million.

It is expected that the revitalization work will create 110 temporary jobs during the construction phase and 150 permanent jobs to maintain the expanded operations.

President and CEO of the port, Sylvie Vachon, is excited about the project.

“I am especially pleased by the Government of Canada’s support of our efforts to increase our container handling capacity. It is proof of the leading role the Port of Montreal plays in the Ontario-Quebec corridor, through which two-thirds of Canada’s international trade transit.”

The federal minister of transportation, Denis Lebel, who made the announcement on behalf of the government, also committed to spending $500,000 for a project to optimize navigation in the St Lawrence from Quebec City to Montreal by deepening the water channel. According to Transport Canada, a 1cm gain in navigation in the water column increases the load capacity of a vessel by approximately 70 tonnes. It is expected that with improvements to the waterway, container services traffic in Montreal will increase by more than 500,000 tonnes.