The Port of Montreal presents its container terminal project at Contrecœur. This large-scale project aims to support the growth of the container market, a sector that generates economic development for Montreal, Quebec and Eastern Canada.
Why a container terminal at Contrecœur?
- The container market at the Port of Montreal has been growing for more than 50 years. The last container terminal, Viau Terminal, will bring capacity on the Island of Montreal to 2.1 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). According to our data, the growth will continue.
- As the only container port in Quebec and the largest port in Eastern Canada, the Port of Montreal must develop to support the anticipated growth in this business segment and remain competitive with the large American ports that are investing massively in their infrastructures.
- This project will allow the Port of Montreal to keep seizing opportunities: emerging markets, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Quebec Maritime Strategy.
- This site already includes port activities, operating since the mid-1950s. Between 1988 and 1992, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) acquired lots at Contrecœur amounting to a 468 hectares in total.
- The site is a strategic location for several reasons:
- Configuration conducive to operating a modern terminal
- Proximity of a rail network and a road network (Highway 30)
- Space for industrial and logistics development near the terminal project site
- Mainly industrial area, facilitating cohabitation with residential areas
- Construction of a terminal that, when completed, can handle 1.15 million TEUs per year, featuring:
- Two berths and a container handling area
- An intermodal rail yard connected to the main network
- A truck entry portal connected to the road network
- Support facilities
- Terminal construction is planned to begin in 2020, subject to obtaining permits and other success factors. Commissioning of the terminal is planned for 2023.
- Traffic during operation:
- 1,200 trucks per day
- 2 to 3 ships per week
- 1 train per day
- Estimated economic benefits:
- Close to 5,000 jobs during construction / one-time Impact on GDP: $470 million, of which $364 million in Quebec
- About 1,000 direct jobs during operation / recurring impact on GDP: $119 million, of which $104 million in Quebec
Information and consultation process
Over the last three years, the MPA has conducted an information and consultation process with all the stakeholders affected (business partners, public authorities, local communities, interest groups, Aboriginal communities, etc.):
- Meetings with municipal, economic and environmental stakeholders as well as the various federal and provincial departments and ministries, on an ongoing basis since 2014
- An initial open house event organized for the local population in December 2014
- Thematic workshops that brought together many local experts in March 2017
- A second open house event organized for the local population in May 2017
These various steps made it possible to collect project-related questions and concerns from the various stakeholders and improve the environmental impact assessment. The process was launched prior to the efforts conducted by regulatory authorities responsible for issuing project approvals. For the MPA, this information and consultation process is a key prerequisite for the success of this project and for achieving positive outcomes for the community as a whole.
Results of the impact study
In March 2016, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) issued the guidelines that set out the major directions to be addressed by the MPA in its Environmental Impact Assessment. This vast study was carried out in 2016 and 2017 by the MPA team in collaboration with a team of experts from SNC-Lavalin. As part of the impact study released on January 18, the MPA examined many issues grouped under the following five themes:
- Road and rail traffic
- The environment – water and land
- Marine transportation
- Economic benefits
- Human environment – Impacts for neighbouring communities
The summary of the Environmental Impact Assessment is available here.
The project will be subject to a public consultation organized by the CEAA, including information sessions, from February 27 to March 2, 2018 at Contrecœur.