Viau container terminal in Port of Montreal, Canada, is set to undergo a second phase of expansion in order to boost its capacity as a key connection for container shipping in North America.

The terminal currently handles 350,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), while the latest expansion is expected to increase the handling capacity to 600,000 TEUs.

The expansion project is a part of the port capacity optimisation project, which focuses on the terminal’s container-handling capacity and improvements to marine and road access.

Construction works are scheduled to commence in September 2019 and the expansion is planned to be completed in December 2020.

It is expected to create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs and generate $340m in economic benefits. It will enable the Port of Montreal to handle the projected growth in the container market, which is expected to reach up to 2.1 million TEUs.

Viau container terminal development details

The Port of Montreal and Termont Terminal signed a long-term agreement with Termont Montreal for the operations of Viau container terminal in March 2015.

Termont installed Navis N4 terminal operating system (TOS) at Viau container terminal in September 2016 to improve efficiency at the terminal.

Mediterranean Shipping Company partnered with Termont and the Montreal Port Authority in order to begin construction of the first phase of the terminal in June 2015. The operations of the first phase were launched in November 2016.

Viau container terminal phase one expansion details

Phase one expansion of the Viau container terminal increased the container handling capacity to 350,000TEUs. A 330m-long berth was built and two new modern post-Panamax cranes along with five rubber-tire gantry cranes were installed.

The expansion increased the terminal’s service area to 200,000m² and added an intermodal zone, access routes, a service building, administrative offices, and accommodation for workers. It also included the redevelopment of railway services and road access.

Electrically powered reefer stations and an automatic truck marshalling gate were installed in addition to an efficient intermodal service, which uses on-terminal rail operations and a high-density container yard.

Phase one added the largest crane in Port of Montréal at the time and on-dock access. The terminal also has the capacity to load containers up to six units high.

Details of phase two expansion at Viau container terminal

The second phase expansion of the terminal will include the addition of a second berth spanning 330m and development of a supplementary container reception area. It will include installation of piles, infrastructure improvements, railway upgrades, paving, and foundation-laying.

“The expansion project is a part of the port capacity optimisation project, which focuses on the terminal’s container-handling capacity.”

The terminal will also be installed with new technologies, which include broadband reversing alarms on equipment in order to reduce handling activity noise.

Mitigation measures will be carried out during the construction phase in order to reduce inconvenience to neighbouring communities as per the agreement made by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and Termont Montreal during 2015 public consultations on the project.

Financing for Viau container terminal expansion

The total estimated cost of both phases of expansion is C$197m ($145.2m), which includes contributions from Infrastructure Canada, Termont, and the MPA.

Termont invested C$44m ($34m) on equipment and container handling services during the first phase of the project, while the MPA and Infrastructure Canada together invested C$61m ($46.43m).

The second phase of the project is estimated to cost $52m ($39.58m). Termont will contribute C$30m ($22.3m), while the MPA and Infrastructure Canada will contribute the remaining cost.

Contractors involved

Armtec carried out hydraulic and structural design studies for a new drainage system at the terminal.

Navis, part of Cargotec Corporation, installed its N4 TOS at the Viau container terminal.