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            january 19, 2020

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CIB to provide US$330m bank funding for new Montreal terminal


The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) says it will provide up to US$300 million to finance a new container terminal the Montreal Port Authority plans to open downriver in Contrecoeur.
Government-owned CIB explained it "uses financial instruments including loans, equity, and where appropriate, loan guarantees to deliver federal support to projects to make them commercially viable."
The port said CIB's backing will enable it "to continue working, in collaboration with the private sector, to complete the financial structuring of the project." The total cost of construction is expected to run between $750 million and $950 million.
According to the Montreal Port Authority website: "Construction of the terminal is scheduled to start in 2020, conditional on obtaining the necessary permits and other success factors. Commissioning of the terminal is planned for 2023-2024." The new Contrecoeur terminal will help the port meet growing cargo volumes.
According to an environmental impact assessment prepared in 2017 for the project by SNC-Lavalin, the port's existing terminals near the heart of the city had capacity of about 2 million TEU, and other projects at the existing terminals will grow the capacity to 2.5 million TEU by 2022.
But by 2030, cargo volumes at the port were expected to approach that level, growing to 2.47 million TEU from 1.68 million TEU in 2018.
So, the port expects the additional 1.15 TEU of capacity from Contrecoeur will help it meet growing demand. The Contrecoeur terminal, located 25 miles downriver from the Montreal Port Authority facilities on the south bank of the St Lawrence River could eventually be expanded to 3.5 million TEU in future decades, reports New York's FreightWaves.
The new container terminal is to have two berths and eight cranes, and the facility is expected to be visited by 1,200 trucks and one train per day. Canadian National Railway Co (CN Rail) track is near the terminal.
"The Contrecoeur expansion will strengthen and diversify our trade with other countries. Given the port's central role in the Canadian economy, this wealth creation will have an impact on the entire country," said Pierre Lavallee, president and chief executive officer of CIB. "Without the Contrecoeur terminal, ships would have to travel to US ports, which would increase GHG and air pollutant emissions," he added.
President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority, Sylvie Vachon, said the new terminal will make the port more competitive and "strengthen Montreal's role as a hub for maritime trade in eastern Canada. This will support national economic prosperity through job creation and supply chain development."

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