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Port of Québec reports excellent FY despite the pandemic

Posted on June 15, 2022

The Port of Québec achieved the highest level of environmental certification for a fourth consecutive year

At its Annual Public Meeting held June 10, the Québec Port Authority (QPA) presented the results of its activities for the year 2021. After the direct impact of COVID-19 in 2020, the Port has resumed with rising indicators and demonstrated its key role in maintaining supply chains. In addition to these results, the Port of Québec maintained, for a fourth consecutive year, the highest level of certification under the Green Marine program, whose objective is to guide the maritime industry towards environmental excellence.

Despite the pandemic, the Port and its partners were able to maintain the supply chains and logistics that connect the industrial and agricultural heartland of North America to the rest of the world. With 28.3 million tonnes of cargo handled at one or another of its wharves, an increase of 4.8% over 2020, the Port of Québec recorded the fourth-highest volume in its history.

A well-positioned organization
Thanks to its many competitive advantages, the Port of Québec is well positioned to meet the demands of international trade. Its water depth and geographic location give various industries in Canada and across North America access to foreign markets, making the Port of Québec the cornerstone of bulk imports and exports in eastern Canada.

Environment and sustainable development
Over the past year, the Port of Québec has taken concrete steps to maintain, for a fourth consecutive year, the highest level of certification in the Green Marine program. In fact, of the forty-eight participating North American port authorities, it is the only one to have maintained the highest level for all indicators over such a long period of time. The QPA adopted a roadmap that will help it achieve carbon neutrality. It carried out analyses to make Bassin Louise accessible for swimming and removed nearly one tonne of waste from Beauport Bay’s aquatic environment. It should be noted that the Port’s efforts toward sound waste management also led to the recycling of approximately 70,000 masks from the vaccination centre’s operations at the new cruise terminal. In December, the Port also launched the EcoCargo program, which offers shipowners using environmentally responsible practices a rate incentive on port fees.

Upgraded infrastructure
The year 2021 was also very active in terms of infrastructure investments. Several restoration projects were carried out. In the past year, the Port of Québec repaired and stabilized the wharves in the east end of Anse au Foulon, in Bassin Louise, and in the Beauport sector. The Port (excluding operators) has invested over $173 million in its infrastructure over the past 10 years.

Cruise terminals
Located a few minutes from Old Québec, the new cruise terminal (Terminal 30) was completed in 2021 with the addition of a boarding bridge with a 21-metre range from the waterline. It is ready to receive its first cruise passengers in summer 2022. The Ross Gaudreault terminal welcomed 46,000 visitors in 2021 for a total of 106 events, including La Grande Braderie de mode de Québec, Semaine numériQC, and several others. Throughout the year, the QPA also worked closely with CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale to take part in the fight against COVID-19. With the help of Desgagnés, Ocean Group, QSL, G3, IMTT, and Béton Provincial, the Port of Québec lent a hand to the massive vaccination and screening operation by setting up one of the first vaccination centres at its Terminal 30 facility.

Cruise development
Unfortunately, no international cruise ships called at the Port of Québec in 2021 for a second year in a row due to the pandemic. The industry recovered slowly, and by the end of 2021, about 80% of the global fleet was back in service. In 2021 the QPA demonstrated its leadership on the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) Cruise Committee to identify issues in this sector and make recommendations for the resumption of post-pandemic international cruise operations. In collaboration with the Cruise the Saint Lawrence Association (CSLA), the QPA also developed the COVID-19 health protocols used by all St. Lawrence River ports.

Looking to the future
In short, the QPA demonstrated its resilience and a strong ability to bounce back. Looking to the future, the QPA is now working on its new 2022–2027 strategic plan, which will be presented in the coming year.

The Québec Port Authority is an autonomous shared-governance organization constituted under the Canada Marine Act. The ships that pass through the Port are central to a supply chain that moves approximately $20 billion in goods each year. The Port of Québec is a maritime hub that generates and supports over 13,000 direct and indirect jobs according to the latest KPMG/SECOR study.


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