Three bid respondents have qualified for the Port of Montreal’s Contrecœur container terminal project, which is slated to cost between C$750 million and C$950 million and begin operating by the end of 2026, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) reported on May 6.
They are: Axium Infrastructure Canada and Pomerleau Capital; Ports America Holdings; and Terminal Investment Limited (TIL).
The new container terminal, to be located about 25 miles from Montreal (see map above), would allow MPA to handle up to 1.15 million containers (20-foot equivalent units or TEUs) annually. It would include two berths and a container handling area; an intermodal marshaling yard connected to the main rail network; a truck gate connected to the road network; and secondary facilities for port activities.
The terminal has financial backing—up to C$300 million from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and C$55 million from the government of Quebec—and early last year received a favorable report from the Canadian Impact Assessment Agency and a Ministerial Decision Statement allowing the project to proceed, according to MPA, which must agree to comply with 330 legally binding conditions that the decision sets out.
The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued on Nov. 23, 2021, using the DBFOM (Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain) model, according to MPA. Five compliant bid packages were evaluated. “Bidders were required to show experience in the design, construction and operation of new port infrastructure, as well as in generating new shipping volumes, and their engagement with local and regional stakeholders, among other criteria,” the authority reported. “The conditions specified in the Decision Statement issued by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Canada also have to be met.”
The three qualified finalists will be invited to submit bids in the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase, which will begin in the coming weeks and last approximately 12 months, MPA said. The winning bidder is slated to be announced in second-quarter 2023, with financial and commercial closing in third-quarter 2023, for a start of construction within the year.
“The Request for Qualifications process confirmed the strong interest in our project locally, nationally and internationally,” MPA President and CEO Martin Imbleau said. “This expansion will consolidate the Port of Montreal’s role as a driver of development for Quebec and Canada.”
In related developments, the MPA and CN last month reached an agreement in principal to develop the rail component of the Contrecœur expansion project. The companies, MPA said, “will define the technical aspects of the project’s intermodal service,” along with the DBFOM partner. The CN rail line is already in place in the area covered by the project, according to MPA. (The Port of Montreal is served by both CN and Canadian Pacific.)