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Press release

Montreal, October 10, 2023 — The MPA welcomes the $150 million allocated to the container terminal project in Contrecœur through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) announced today by Canada’s Transport Minister, Pablo Rodriguez. This strategic investment is a giant step towards improving the fluidity of Canada’s supply chain.


A project for the future

This financial support from the federal government confirms the strategic importance of the Contrecœur expansion project in view of the anticipated growth in the container sector to meet the needs of importers, exporters and consumers. In 2021, the Port of Montreal’s expansion of its activities at Contrecœur received a favourable Decision Statement from Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, allowing the project to proceed.

“This financial backing from the federal government sends a strong message about our large Contrecœur expansion project and the future of the logistics ecosystem in the St. Lawrence corridor. It lets us embark on the next steps with confidence, so that we can continue to play our vital role as a sustainable economic driver at the heart of the Quebec and Canadian economies,” said Geneviève Deschamps, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the MPA.


A hybrid approach

This financial support announced today by federal Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez will enable the MPA to implement a new delivery model for the major expansion project on Montreal’s South Shore. Under the MPA’s new approach, the MPA will be taking over some of the responsibilities for carrying out the project and cancels the current call for tenders to opt for a more agile approach. Work on the future terminal will be carried out in hybrid mode:

  • Marine works will be entirely carried out by the MPA. The MPA will act as prime contractor for this phase, which includes dock construction and dredging work. Project planning will use a Design-Build approach (“DB model”) with a specialized firm assisting the MPA for the next 9 to 12 months. At the end of this phase, the MPA will assign the project works according to its procurement processes, and will present an updated schedule for this component of the project works.
  • Land site works and operations will be carried out with a private partner. The MPA will issue a Request for Proposals in early 2024 to select a private partner to build the terminal (container yard, buildings, facilities and rail connection). This private partner will also operate and maintain the terminal under a DBFOM (Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain). The water-based project works mentioned above are excluded from this component.

As a result, the DBFOM procurement process launched in November 2021, which included both the terminal’s construction work (marine and land site) and its operation, has been cancelled to make way for this new method to successfully carry out the project that is better suited to today’s reality. Discussions with the bidders did not lead to a result deemed satisfactory by the MPA after factoring in market trends, including interest rates and inflation, between the time the Request for Qualifications began in 2021 to today.

“MPA teams are continuing their rigorous planning on the Port of Montreal’s major Contrecœur expansion project that is so crucial to keeping supply chains resilient. The new procurement process put forward will enable us to control risks, project works and costs more effectively in the current context,” said Geneviève Deschamps.

Gouvernement fédéral annonce 150 M$ pour Contrecoeur
From left to right: Martin Damphousse, Mayor of Varennes and President of the UMQ; Angelo Iacono, Member of Parliament for Alfred-Pellan; Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Outremont; the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Canada's Transport Minister and Quebec Lieutenant; Maud Allaire, Mayor of Contrecoeur; Geneviève Deschamps, MPA Interim CEO; Paul Bird, Vice-President, Contrecoeur Project; John Parisella and Anik Trudel, MPA Board members.

About the Port of Montreal

Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is the second largest port in Canada and a diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods: containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. The only container port in Quebec, it is a destination port served by the largest shipping lines in the world. It is also an intermodal hub with a service offering that is unique in North America, featuring its own rail network directly dockside connected to Canada’s two national rail networks. The MPA also operates a Cruise Terminal and a Port Centre.

The MPA factors economic, social and environmental components into its corporate initiatives. This commitment is governed by a sustainable development policy whose guiding principles focus on involvement, cooperation and accountability. Port activity supports 19,000 jobs and generates $2.6 billion in economic benefits annually.

About the Port of Montreal’s Contrecœur expansion

Located in an industrial zone, the Contrecœur land reserve was acquired 30+ years ago by the Montreal Port Authority and has been the focus of careful collaborative planning to support the development of the supply chain in Quebec and Eastern Canada. With the support of Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Government of Quebec, the Port of Montreal and its partners plan to develop a new state-of-the-art container terminal able to handle up to 1.15 million containers (TEUs). Advantageously located in the core of the largest pool of consumers, importers and exporters in Quebec and Eastern Canada, close to major rail and road routes, the Port of Montreal’s Contrecœur expansion will consolidate local strengths to effectively meet future needs. This project will strengthen the world-class logistics centre in the heart of the St. Lawrence Valley.  

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