Montreal, October 10, 2023 — The MPA welcomes the $150 million allocated to the container terminal project in Contrecœur through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) announced today by Canada’s Transport Minister, Pablo Rodriguez. This strategic investment is a giant step towards improving the fluidity of Canada’s supply chain.


A project for the future

This financial support from the federal government confirms the strategic importance of the Contrecœur expansion project in view of the anticipated growth in the container sector to meet the needs of importers, exporters and consumers. In 2021, the Port of Montreal’s expansion of its activities at Contrecœur received a favourable Decision Statement from Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, allowing the project to proceed.

“This financial backing from the federal government sends a strong message about our large Contrecœur expansion project and the future of the logistics ecosystem in the St. Lawrence corridor. It lets us embark on the next steps with confidence, so that we can continue to play our vital role as a sustainable economic driver at the heart of the Quebec and Canadian economies,” said Geneviève Deschamps, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the MPA.


A hybrid approach

This financial support announced today by federal Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez will enable the MPA to implement a new delivery model for the major expansion project on Montreal’s South Shore. Under the MPA’s new approach, the MPA will be taking over some of the responsibilities for carrying out the project and cancels the current call for tenders to opt for a more agile approach. Work on the future terminal will be carried out in hybrid mode:

  • Marine works will be entirely carried out by the MPA. The MPA will act as prime contractor for this phase, which includes dock construction and dredging work. Project planning will use a Design-Build approach (“DB model”) with a specialized firm assisting the MPA for the next 9 to 12 months. At the end of this phase, the MPA will assign the project works according to its procurement processes, and will present an updated schedule for this component of the project works.
  • Land site works and operations will be carried out with a private partner. The MPA will issue a Request for Proposals in early 2024 to select a private partner to build the terminal (container yard, buildings, facilities and rail connection). This private partner will also operate and maintain the terminal under a DBFOM (Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain). The water-based project works mentioned above are excluded from this component.

As a result, the DBFOM procurement process launched in November 2021, which included both the terminal’s construction work (marine and land site) and its operation, has been cancelled to make way for this new method to successfully carry out the project that is better suited to today’s reality. Discussions with the bidders did not lead to a result deemed satisfactory by the MPA after factoring in market trends, including interest rates and inflation, between the time the Request for Qualifications began in 2021 to today.

“MPA teams are continuing their rigorous planning on the Port of Montreal’s major Contrecœur expansion project that is so crucial to keeping supply chains resilient. The new procurement process put forward will enable us to control risks, project works and costs more effectively in the current context,” said Geneviève Deschamps.

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