QUÉBEC CITY – The Québec Port Authority has signed a long-term commercial agreement with leading port network Hutchison Ports, and CN (Canadian National Railway), to build and operate the new container terminal, known as project Laurentia (formerly Beauport 2020).
The $775 million project will be financed primarily through the joint investment of the three partners, according to QPA. The new terminal facility will support hundreds of new jobs at full operations.
QPA notes that Hutchison Ports was selected after a competitive process in which QPA invited the leading international port operators to provide proposals to participate in the project. HSBC acted as the sole strategic and financial advisor throughout the process.
The agreement stipulates that Hutchison Ports will build the most environmentally and technologically advanced cargo-handling facility in North America, potentially setting up Port of Québec’s future container terminal to boast the smallest ecological footprint in the world.
The agreement increases Hutchison Ports’ global network to 52 ports spanning 27 countries. The company handles close to 85 million TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) per year, representing approximately 11% of the global containerized cargo trade.
The Québec Port Authority is also unveiling the new brand image for its deepwater container terminal, renaming it Laurentia. The name is intended to reflect the continental reach and importance of the new container terminal on the Saint Lawrence, said QPA.
According to a study from KPMG, for the construction phase alone, the project will generate $500 million in economic benefits and an average of 1267 jobs a year. QPA estimates the project will generate $84 million in economic benefits a year and will create nearly 800 jobs, including 500 direct ones, in Québec.
The deep-water container terminal project is currently under an environmental assessment process with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.