Montreal Port's $335M Plan Puts Decarbonisation First

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Port of Montreal decarbonisation efforts
Image courtesy of Port of Montreal

As the Port of Montreal forges ahead with an impressive $335 million investment plan to bolster its infrastructure, it remains steadfast in its commitment to environmental protection, decarbonisation, and sustainability.

The recently unveiled comprehensive five-year plan outlines a series of infrastructure enhancements aimed at expanding container handling capacity while reducing the carbon footprint associated with port activities and the supply chain. This strategic undertaking showcases the port's dedication to sustainable practices and catalyses innovation and change in the industry worldwide.

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is determined to construct sustainable infrastructure that accommodates trade growth while accelerating the decarbonisation of port operations. As part of this endeavour, the port is transitioning its fleet of service vehicles to electric power and implementing large-scale electric systems.

Already, significant efforts have been made to minimise the visual and noise impacts of port activities, including the creation of an 8.5-meter tall landscaped embankment and the planting of 2,000 trees.

MPA President and CEO Martin Imbleau emphasised the port's pioneering role in decarbonisation during the opening of a climate summit, highlighting the opportunities for innovation and distinguishing oneself through a heightened fight against climate change.

The recently released Strategic Plan 2023–2027 sets forth crucial objectives for decarbonisation, climate change adaptation, and land protection, with the ultimate goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035.

The plan encompasses greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for which the MPA bears full responsibility, including rail operations, building management, vehicle fleet, and infrastructure work.

The MPA aims to reduce these emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, leading to carbon neutrality by 2035. Furthermore, the strategy addresses GHG emissions generated by logistics companies on port territory, aiming to reduce those emissions by 40 per cent by 2040, culminating in carbon neutrality by 2050.

To achieve these ambitious targets, a range of measures will be implemented or expanded, including the adoption of new energy practices and the use of more sustainable fuels. Collaboration with partner companies will also play a crucial role in reducing emissions from trucks and trains. Biodiversity protection on MPA-managed territories is another key focus, with plans to designate 30 per cent of these areas as national wildlife areas.

Investments of $10 million over the next five years will be allocated to city-port interface projects, enhancing the coexistence of logistics activities with the urban environment and bolstering the resilience of infrastructure.

As the port approaches its maximum container handling capacity, significant investments in infrastructure are imperative. Stretching 26 kilometres between Cité-du-Havre and the east end of the island, the upgraded site will feature a container capacity of 1.15 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), including berths, a rail yard, and associated services.

In addition to the existing initiatives, such as the landscaped embankment and shore power for ships, the port has plans to further implement electric power systems and develop green fuels. Substations will be upgraded to meet the growing demand for electrical energy, and six kilometres of rail track will be added to enhance rail traffic and storage fluidity, while the wharf undergoes modernisation.

Simultaneously, the Port of Montreal aims to expand its operations in Contrecoeur to ensure sufficient infrastructure for importers and exporters across Quebec. This expansion project entails the construction of a large terminal and supporting facilities, with construction scheduled to commence at the end of 2023 and the gradual commissioning of facilities expected to start in late 2026.

Addressing the pressing need for decarbonisation in the economy and supply chain, Imbleau emphasised that transportation stands as Quebec's largest greenhouse gas emitter, presenting an ongoing challenge.

As a key player in the industry, the Port of Montreal recognises its indispensable responsibility in driving positive change. Imbleau further highlighted the significant potential for supply-chain decarbonisation in the east end of Montreal, which has historically served as the cradle of port activities. Leveraging this advantageous location becomes crucial in achieving sustainable operations throughout the entire supply chain.

Imbleau underscored the Port of Montreal's pivotal role as the eastern gateway to the heart of the country, where Quebec's logistics ecosystem facilitates the import and export of containerised goods, meeting nearly 75 per cent of the nation's industrial capacity.

Recent crises have underscored the importance of capacity, prompting the port to invest in expanding its future terminal. This expansion aims to meet the growing demand, providing a seamless and cost-effective solution to business needs, particularly for trade with Europe and the Indo-Pacific region. By strengthening its capacity, the port is poised to support the robust and efficient flow of goods essential to national and international commerce.

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Source: ConstructConnect

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