The MPA and its partners inaugurated the new Viau container terminal on November 18, 2016. The project converted facilities dedicated to dry-bulk cargo into a modern and state-of-the-art container-handling, storage and transshipment centre.
The project included the development of a 330-metre berth, an intermodal zone and truck access routes, redevelopment of on-dock railway services and road access, construction of a multiservice building with garage space, administrative offices and a longshoremen’s hall, and demolition of sheds. Termont Montreal Inc., the terminal operator, has installed two post-Panamax dockside gantry cranes at the facility to load and unload containerships.
A second phase of the terminal will be completed in the years to come. It will include the creation of a second 330-metre berth and installation of two more dockside gantry cranes as well as the development of a complementary container reception area.
At term, the new facility will have a capacity of 600,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit containers) and bring the Port of Montreal’s total handling capacity to 2.1 million TEUs on the island of Montreal. The terminal will generate additional economic benefits of $340 million per year and create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.
The total value of Viau Terminal is $197 million. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $42.1 million toward the project. Termont Montreal and the MPA are investing $74 million and $80.9 million, respectively.
The Viau Terminal project integrated numerous sustainable development principles.
The deployment of a communication and consultation plan resulted in meetings with about 20 local stakeholders including business partners, municipal and local community organizations, and interest groups. The MPA held open house evenings with residents of the sector to present the project, listen to concerns and answer questions. In turn, it developed mitigation measures – when possible and necessary – that were taken during the redevelopment work and for terminal operations. For example, during the public consultation process, residents asked Termont Montreal Inc. to change the colour of its cranes to a neutral grey from red so that they would better blend into the surroundings, and the terminal operator agreed to the request.
The MPA and Termont conducted studies to assess the project’s environmental impact. And as part of the redevelopment, the MPA continued a highly innovative soil recovery and reuse project. A large mobile plant mixed excavated soil with cement powder to strengthen the soil and improve its load-bearing capacity. The soil was then redeposited at the bottom of excavated areas to create a sub-base stable enough to support containers.
The process facilitated the reuse of 44,000 tonnes of soil with poor geotechnical quality that otherwise would have been removed and transported to landfill sites. The solidification process also eliminated the need to purchase and deliver high-quality backfill material to create the solid base. This approach saved a minimum of 170 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The port’s land reuse project won three awards, from the Association québécoise des transports (Grand Prize for Excellence in Transportation, Environment Category), the American Concrete Institute (Award of Merit) and the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (Environmental Excellence Award for the Eastern Region).