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170 Québec cities and towns back Laurentia project

Québec City- Standing alongside the representatives of the Port of Québec, three elected municipal officials were present at a virtual conference to highlight the support offered by 170 municipalities and MRCs for the realization of the Laurentia project at the Port of Québec. For the  municipalities concerned, the Port of Québec’s deep-water container terminal is a major benefit for the companies throughout their territories, both for the unique nature of its structuring effect, and for the development of their region and its direct contribution to economic recovery in Québec, according to a press release by the Port of Quebec.

For the regions of central and eastern Québec, the container terminal will represent significant gains in competitiveness for their companies that import and export, just as it will make it possible, through its proximity and more affordable costs, to open the door to businesses which, until now, have not taken advantage of international markets.

Moreover, the Container Use Study by Groupe DDM (2020) indicates that Laurentia would offer import/export companies in the Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Centre-du-Québec and Bas-Saint-Laurent regions, significant economic advantages in addition to allowing them to accelerate their growth by facilitating increased production volumes.

The study notably finds annual savings of $17 million and average savings of up to $25,000 for each business over the next three years.

Valued at $775 million, the container terminal planned by the Port of Québec and its operator partners, CN and Hutchison Ports, which are investing $505 million in the venture, will create 1,750 jobs/year during the planned construction phase (between 2021 and 2024) and more than 1,000 additional permanent jobs during the operational phase.

Throughout the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) evaluation process since 2015, the Port of Québec has produced 116 sectoral studies and invested more than $12 million in the analysis of the project with a view to assessing and identifying the means to reduce and mitigate the impacts of the project on the natural and social environment. During this process, the project has undergone several improvements that have resulted in its current optimized form – a fully automated container terminal.

“With Laurentia, the Port of Québec is keen to develop and renew itself for the benefit of the communities it touches, as it has always done throughout its history,” commented Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Québec Port Authority. “Twenty years ago, it was cruise ships, today it is large container ships and the best rail routes in North America that we are activating in favour of thousands of communities in Québec and their growth-conscious businesses. With the water depth that is present in Québec City, we will bring to our doors the large ships plying the best global trade routes, the ones that are the most connected to growth markets. Our organization is moved and very encouraged by this welcome and this colossal desire, expressed by so many towns and cities that want to see Laurentia become a reality.” (Artist rendering of Laurentia from Port of Québec)