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American Shipper

Montreal plans tripling of capacity by 2020

Montreal plans tripling of capacity by 2020

The Montreal Port Authority has outlined an ambitious plan to nearly triple capacity over the next 12 years.

   Patrice M. Pelletier, the port’s president and chief executive officer, said the authority wants to boost capacity from about 1.6 million TEUs to 4.5 million TEUs by 2020 at a cost of $1.5 billion to 1.7 billion. He added the port is likely to spend a total of $2.5 billion during the period when annual maintenance, and expenses for cruise facilities, the environment, and security are included.

   Pelletier said the expansion would create about 41,400 jobs and about $3.4 billion in “value-added return for the community,” compared to about 18,200 jobs and $1.5 billion today.

   Speaking to members of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal last week, Pelletier said the so-called Vision 2020 plan was necessary because growth of global traffic, particularly container traffic, is expected to intensify in the next few years. He also noted the port is already nearing its current capacity, handling nearly 1.4 million TEUs last year.

   “Since the early 1990s world container traffic has grown almost three times faster than GDP. By 2020, container traffic is expected to grow by nearly 7 percent a year. We must act right away to obtain a large share of this traffic,” he said.

   He described a four-phase project. The first phase began last year and will increase capacity to 2 million TEUs by 2011, and will cost $185 million.

   The second phase, due to be completed in 2013, would maximize use of the port’s existing terminals and boost capacity to 2.5 million TEUs by 2013 for an additional $250 million.

   The third phase would boost capacity to 3.5 million TEUs by 2016 at a cost of $600 million to 700 million, while the final phase would boost capacity to 4.5 million TEUs at an additional cost of $500 million to $600 million.

   “We are targeting our sites located in east-end Montreal and Contrecoeur,” which is about 27 miles downstream from Montreal, Pelletier said. “We will have to decide with our partners how we are going to develop these two sites or just one of them.”

   But he added, “There will always be port activities on the Island of Montreal, regardless of whether or not the decision is made to develop the Contrecoeur site. Montreal is, and must remain, a port city. Our economic prosperity depends on it.”

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