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Hutchison Ports inks deal to develop Canadian deepwater container terminal

Hutchison Ports inks deal to develop Canadian deepwater container terminal
Hutchison Ports has been selected by Canada’s Québec Port Authority (QPA) to work alongside Canadian National Railway (CN) to build and operate a new deepwater container terminal known as project Laurentia.

The CAD775m ($575m) project will be financed primarily through the joint investment of the three partners.

“Québec City will become Hutchison Ports’ gateway to the East coast of North America. With its fully intermodal deepwater port, its strategic location to reach the midwest market, and the strong support shown by the local authorities, the Québec project has all the attributes to be successful in this highly important market,” said Eric Ip, group managing director of Hutchison Ports.

Previously known as project Beauport 2020, the QPA has rebranded the container terminal to Laurentia to reflect the continental reach and importance of the facility on the Saint Lawrence.

The Laurentia terminal is a major inland deepwater terminal in North America and the only facility in Saint Lawrence which could accommodate the new generations of very large ships.

The terminal also benefits from a direct railway and highway connection and has all the necessary space to handle thousands of containers per year.

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According to a study from KPMG, for the construction phase alone, the project will generate CAD500m in economic benefits and an average of 1267 jobs a year. Ultimately, the project will generate CAD84m in economic benefits a year and will create nearly 800 jobs, including 500 direct ones, in Québec.

The deepwater container terminal project is currently under an environmental assessment process with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

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.

“Today, through a joint venture with Hutchison Ports and CN, we are setting the stage for this project to become a North American success in terms of business and social acceptability not to mention a vector of economic development for Québec, allowing the Saint Lawrence to gain additional growth and competitiveness with US ports,” commented Mario Girard, president and ceo of QPA.

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