Ports & Terminals

Montreal container project moves toward deal with Canadian infrastructure bank

With container volumes rising in recent years and potential capacity problems on the horizon, the Port of Montreal is counting on a planned new terminal at Contrecoeur, 25 miles downstream on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, to meet future demands. It would represent the sixth container terminal at Canada’s leading east coast port. The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announced this week it will work with the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) to advance the development of a new box facility at Contrecoeur that would boost the port’s capacity from 2.1 million TEUs to 3.5 million TEUs. It would constitute the CIB’s first participation in the trade and transportation sector.

The container project is valued at C$750 million (US$ 565 million). The terminal would have a maximum annual capacity of 1.15 million TEUs upon completion in 2023, assuming final regulatory approvals are soon made.

A Memorandum of Understanding confirms that CIB and MPA will work on the financial structuring of the proposed terminal. This due diligence will include planning and pre-procurement activities for the design, the construction, the financing, the operation and the maintenance of the terminal. CIB’s work could lead to an investment in the project, subject to all standard due diligence and decision making.

“This commitment by the Canada Infrastructure Bank is a key milestone in the progress of our project towards completion,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority. She added that the proposed terminal’s case is bolstered by the fact that it is not located in an urban area and is well connected to rail and highway networks.

The objective of the new terminal is to continue to enable importers and exporters to get products to markets in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America especially in a timely fashion and to support Canada’s economic growth. The only container port in the province of Quebec, Montreal handled more than 1.7 million containers in 2018.

On the St. Lawrence River, the Port of Quebec has a major container project also awaiting final regulatory approval and ocean carrier commitment.

The CIB has specialized infrastructure expertise and this project is consistent with its mandate to advise on and potentially invest in trade and transportation infrastructure projects that are revenue-generating and in the public interest.

“The Canada Infrastructure Bank is proud to contribute its expertise to the development of the port terminal project in Contrecoeur to maximize its commercial value and attract private investors,” said Pierre Lavalée, President and CEO.

Established in 2017, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is a Crown Corporation mandated to allocate C$35 billion in federal funding over 10 years to attract private and institutional investors.



Leo Ryan
Leo Ryan


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