Montreal Port Authority plans for decades of growth

MONTREAL — After coming off another year of growth, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) has plans for the entire city to capitalize on the port’s success.

The new president and CEO of the MPA, Patrice Pelletier, proposed a project for the entire Montreal community, which aims to increase the port’s capacity and develop new markets by 2020.

For 2007, the MPA reported net earnings of $8.4 million, which marks the 28th year in a row the MPA has recorded a net profit. Revenues rose 4.1 percent compared to 2006, reaching $86 million.

The MPA also saw a 9.4 percent increase in containerized cargo and a 3.6 percent increase in total volume, which rose to 26 million tons. The volume of containerized cargo, which is key to the growth of the Port of Montreal and the MPA’s growth strategy, will continue to grow in the coming years.

“All indicators show that marine container traffic on the east coast of North America will grow annually by 7 percent until 2015,” explains Pelletier. “The Port of Montreal is a significant and true generator of wealth for the Canadian economy. To continue to fulfill this role, the port must take the necessary measures to capture a good part of the container market growth.”

Along with container growth, the MPA has a project planned which could generate $3.4 billion in annual economic spin-offs for Montreal.

The CEO estimates this project, which will mobilize the entire society, is a generator of collective wealth that will create 41,400 jobs.

“At the present time,” notes Pelletier. “The Port of Montreal produces a $1.5 billion annual value-added return for the community and generates 18,200 jobs.”

The MPA’s project has four phases. Phase one involves optimization of current infrastructures to increase operational efficiency and immediately expand the port’s capacity. In Phase two, the existing sites will be redeveloped for optimum bulk and container storage. Phase three will focus on the development of new infrastructures.

“We are targeting our sites located in east-end Montreal and Contrecoeur,” Pelletier specified. “We will have to decide with our partners how we are going to develop these two sites or just one of them.”

The last phase will allow the Port of Montreal to increase its capacity to 4.5 million container TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

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