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Laurentia project cornerstone of a new centre for global maritime and logistics innovation in Québec City


Québec City – The Laurentia Project will become the cornerstone of a new and dynamic global ecosystem for innovation in logistics and maritime transportation technologies with the announcement today by the Québec Port Authority of the signing of memorandums of understanding with seven major partners from the maritime, transportation and research world. The international partnerships that will be created by these agreements will ensure that the Québec City regional economy will enjoy significant benefits well beyond the core investment of $775 million already planned for the construction of the Québec Container Terminal by 2024, the 1,000 sustainable jobs related to the terminal operation, and the estimated $100 million of annual economic impact. 

It will further ensure that the local region surrounding one of the world’s most technologically advanced and environmentally clean container terminals will become an incubator for new technologies, research and scientific exploration.

The linking together of Hutchison Ports, the Port of Rotterdam, CN, PortXL, Québec International, Université Laval, Québec City and the new logistics services supply chain associated with the new container terminal will create an exciting launchpad for Québec-based enterprises to reach world markets.  

Thanks to these agreements, Québec is integrating a global network of maritime industrial and technological expertise that will become a catalyst for the enterprising spirit and know-how of our regional business and scientific communities. As a result, Laurentia will become an economic engine powering the creation of commercial enterprise and entrepreneurship with advanced technologies in sustainable maritime transportation and logistics. The new Québec centre for global maritime and logistics innovation will attract researchers and startups in the sector to capitalize on and enrich the culture of innovation in the Québec City region. 

Hutchison Ports, with its international network that spans 52 ports in 27 different countries, will help connect and promote Québec-based technologies and innovation enterprises with opportunities around the world. 

In terms of innovation and technological development, the innovation zone will benefit from the presence of Université Laval and Research Chairs recognized in Québec for the advances they have made in the fields of artificial intelligence, supply chain optimization and green technologies in maritime transportation.   

In terms of maritime trade, the new intermodal logistics corridor established by the Québec Container Terminal project will revitalize the economic vitality of the St. Lawrence, and it is anticipated that the collaboration created by the Innovation Zone will assist in the introduction of even greater optimization and technological enhancements over the coming years. The outcomes will keep the Port of Québec and the St. Lawrence supply chain at the leading edge of fast, efficient and economical trade between North America and world markets.  

In addition, after Singapore, Rotterdam and Antwerp, these agreements mark the opening of PortXL’s very first branch in North America.  PortXL, a leader in the technological integration of port activities and the acceleration of new logistics-based innovations, will further assist in the promotion and sharing of best practices between international operators in the maritime sector and academic institutions.

“When we see the quality of the partners who have embarked on this adventure, we understand that this initiative for commercial positioning represents a unique opportunity for Québec City,” said  Régis Lebeaume, Mayor, City of Québec.

”It is a source of great pride for the Port of Québec to be associated with these strategic partners of international scope as this confirms the essential role of the Québec City region as a hub for intelligent intermodal transport at the confluence of a maritime network connecting the main international markets”, said Mario Girard, President and CEO, Québec Port Authority.

“With its fully intermodal deep-water 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 Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports.

“In partnership with Hutchison Ports and the Port of Québec, customers will benefit greatly from the integrated operation of the port and the terminal – a unique supply chain – generating value and efficiency,” declared Jean-Jacques Ruest, President-CEO, CN.

By connecting the innovation ecosystems of the ports of Québec and Rotterdam we will create opportunities for both the port of Québec and for Port of Rotterdam,” stressed René van der Plas, Director, Port of Rotterdam International.

From left to right, Mad. Sonja Behmel, CEO WaterShed Monitoring, Mad. Sophie D’Amours, Rector Laval University, M. Mario Girard, CEO Québec Port authority, M. Régis Labeaume, Mayor Québec City, M. Jean Giroux, CEO Telops, M. Carl Viel, CEO Québec International.
Photo: Pierre Terrien