At the heart of our maritime industry the Port of

At the heart of our maritime industry: the Port of Quebec on a green mission

The Port of Quebec wants to be at the forefront of decarbonization and needs the help of governments and Hydro-Quebec to do so.

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“The electrification of port facilities is no fun: it must be done!” pleads President Mario Girard.

Now $60 million must be raised to electrify three docks for cruise ships to stop greenhouse gas emissions when docking in Quebec. The income of the port authorities alone is not enough. Otherwise he moves at a snail’s pace.

“The federal government has a budget of $167 million over seven years for all Canadian ports. We said it’s not working and we “have to take it easy,” Mr Girard said in an interview with the Journal.

At the provincial level, the Port of Quebec believes it can raise $4 million for a first wharf, but to achieve that it must also prioritize hydropower distribution. As this is a 5+ megawatt block, government approval is required in addition to Hydro-Québec approval.

“Unless decarbonization becomes a government priority, we cannot move fast enough. Even if we had the money tomorrow morning, it would not be possible to electrify a wharf in Quebec City before 2026 because it is a large piece of infrastructure that needs to be installed,” explains the CEO.

Rethink procurement

For the Port Authority, which has included sustainability in the four pillars of its vision for 2035, major challenges lie ahead.

Mario Girard also values ​​sustainable supply chains. The positioning of the St. Lawrence Corridor, rather than an individual approach to Quebec’s various ports, seems essential to him.

“We need to think like this, not port-by-port, to meet the decarbonization challenge and also avoid losing market share to ports in the Northeastern United States,” he said.

growth deficit

Container throughput growth in the Port of Montreal was 0.6% between 2018 and 2022. Meanwhile, peers in the US Northeast posted gains of 6.7-7.9%.

Production is increasingly leaving China and relocating to Indonesia, Malaysia or India. Fewer ships go through the Pacific and more through the Atlantic, favoring eastern ports.

“American ports saw it coming and prepared for it. You have invested millions. We haven’t invested enough. We have delays and are missing the connection,” believes Mario Girard.

It is important for him to think differently about using our ports to create more efficient, cheaper supply chains for importers/exporters with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

He mentions the supply difficulties among its entrepreneurs, documented by the Lévis Chamber of Commerce. You are struggling to find truck drivers transporting containers to or from the port of Montreal at a reasonable price.

“If decarbonization is a priority for everyone, we will get together and find ways to save miles on the road and reduce greenhouse gases,” he says.

slow development

The Port of Quebec is also gently pursuing development projects to strengthen ties with the citizens of its community.

“We want to be a reference when it comes to social commitment. It’s ambitious. We put it first in our vision because we know it means a lot and calls us to go beyond ourselves,” says the CEO of the Port Authority, which has a team that oversees community relations .

Elsewhere, because of its commitment to innovation, the Port of Québec lends itself as a research field for corporate development of clean technologies.