Québec City – At a meeting held virtually due to COVID-19, the Québec Port Authority (QPA) unveiled today the results of the Port’s operations over the past year. Mario Girard, President and CEO of the QPA, presented the highlights of 2021 and pointed out the key role played by the Port of Québec, which had its fourth best year ever of operation despite COVID-19.
“In 2021, we saw the global economy pick up following a decline in world GDP of over 3.5% in 2020,” said Mr. Girard. “We felt a strong demand at the Port of Québec for certain raw materials, and once again we demonstrated that we’re a key link in the supply chain. We often forget that the materials that go through the Port are what companies in many industrial sectors like agrifood, construction, and transportation use to operate and that, once processed, meet a host of everyday needs. Port operations and all their associated activities also provide many jobs in numerous fields. The Port is obviously an important player in our economy and an important contributor to our collective wealth.”
The volume of cargo handled at the Port of Québec should total 28.5 million tonnes, up 5.5% over 2020, when it stood at 27 million tonnes. The Port’s operators also had a very busy year.
In 2021, QSL recorded its third-best year ever for its Québec City operations. The company, which specializes in the handling and storage of various commodities, had a very good year in iron ore and pellets and other steel industry-related cargo.
It was a record year for Béton Provincial, a company that is at the heart of the Québec construction industry. The agrifood sector at the Port, which includes various types of grain and livestock products, raw sugar, and fertilizers destined for eastern Québec’s large agricultural basin, also had a good year.
The Port of Québec’s sustainable development approach also led to several achievements, such as:
The launch of the EcoCargo program which accords shipowners who implement recognized environmentally responsible practices discounts on port fees; The adoption of a roadmap aimed at making port activities carbon neutral; The formation of a working committee with residents and operators to reduce noise emission in the anse au Foulon sector; The enlargement of the swallow nesting box; The removal of one tonne of garbage in the Baie de Beauport sector, with the help of numerous volunteers.
Facilities Refurbishing was carried out during the year on a number of facilities under the QPA’s responsibility vital to the Port’s cargo transshipment activities. Over the last year, the QPA repaired and stabilized the wharves in the eastern part of Anse au Foulon, along Bassin Louise, and in the Beauport sector.
Since 2018, the Port has carried out numerous infrastructure development and restoration works by investing nearly $300 million, including the amounts invested by the operators.
During a year still marked by the pandemic, the Port of Québec actively participated in the collective fight against COVID-19 by establishing one of the first vaccination centres at the new cruise terminal. The cruise terminals were subsequently made available to the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) de la Capitale-Nationale for vaccination operations and a screening centre.
“The great collaboration we received from IMTT, QSL, Groupe Desgagnés, Groupe Océan, G3, and Béton Provincial in this joint effort with the Québec government also bears mentioning,” said Mr. Girard. “Furthermore, the expertise of the people involved in cruise operations, used to help thousands of people transit in very short periods of time, has certainly contributed to the efficiency of the operations. The Port of Québec is proud to have collaborated in the fight against this virus.”
Coming in 2022
The QPA will continue to fulfill its mission to promote and develop maritime trade, serve the economic interests of the Québec City area and Canada, and ensure its profitability while respecting the community and the environment. Approximately 1,000 ships are expected to call at the Port of Québec in 2022. Other repairs and improvements to facilities are planned. The QPA will also complete its new strategic plan in the coming months.
In closing, Mario Girard thanked all those who contributed to the Port of Québec’s success in 2021: “I want to say a huge thank you to all our employees, operators, and partners who, in difficult conditions again this year, enabled us to continue to maintain our supply chains and achieve the results we have presented today. Thanks to them, the Port of Québec has been a model of efficiency and reliability. We hope to build on this success and look forward to 2022 with confidence,” he concluded. (Port of Québec photo)