Feds focus on developing Baie-Comeau port and rail

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

BAIE-COMEAU, Quebec – Transport Canada and the Corporation de gestion du port de Baie-Comeau have reached an understanding regarding the future costs associated with the operating of the Port of Baie-Comeau. This is an essential step in the negotiating process towards a future transfer agreement.

The Government of Canada began formal negotiations with the Corporation de gestion du port de Baie-Comeau in March 2019.

At the same time, the federal government announced a $7.4 million investment to determine the feasibility of extending the existing rail line at Dolbeau-Mistassini to the rail and marine terminal at Baie-Comeau.

This extension would give Canadian companies access to a deep sea port for exporting their goods to overseas markets, including agricultural and forestry products, fertilizers, as well as refined oil and chemical products. The initial phase of the project would serve an estimated 800 wagons per day, carrying bulk solid and liquid products, as well as general cargo.

For over 25 years, the Government of Canada has been transferring local port assets administered by Transport Canada to new owners. Transferring local ports makes it possible to more fully develop their potential based on the needs of current users, develop new activities and involve users and partners from the area in the management of these ports.

Launched in April 2015, the aim of the Ports Asset Transfer Program (PATP) is to facilitate the transfer of the 50 remaining port assets in the Transport Canada inventory to other entities. The goal is to sell or transfer port assets administered by Transport Canada to interested parties, namely Crown corporations and other federal departments, provincial governments and municipalities, non-profit organizations, the general public as well as Indigenous groups.

Transport Canada currently owns and operates the Port of Baie-Comeau.The Baie-Comeau port assets are located on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence, near the mouth of the Manicouagan River. The Port of Baie-Comeau ships industrial products manufactured in the region around the world.

The Port of Baie-Comeau accommodates the transhipment of cargo such as newsprint, aluminum products, salt, sodium chloride and various other goods. It is open to navigation year-round, enabling the transhipment of more than 535,000 tons of cargo on average every year.