Port of Nanaimo signs agreement for Duke Point expansion project

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The Port of Nanaimo and DP World signed a 50 year agreement that will provide a long-term port-to-port solution for short-sea shipping between Nanaimo and Vancouver. The agreement was finalized on Feb. 24 and will expand access to global trade markets for Nanaimo.

“This project stands to create significant economic opportunities for Nanaimo and central Vancouver Island. It will bring not only good-paying jobs, but places Nanaimo as an integral port hub when it comes to shipping and trade, both domestic and international,” said Mayor Leonard Krog.

The project includes an extension of the existing berth at Duke Point from 182 metres to 325 metres and the construction of a new truck gate, warehouse and administration and maintenance building. 

The existing diesel quay crane will be replaced with two 16 container-wide electric quay cranes. The terminal’s container yard storage area will be increased, creating an overall terminal operational capacity of 280,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Upgrades to drainage, sewer, electrical, water and security systems are also included in the terminal project outline.

“The Duke Point expansion project will bring Vancouver Island to world markets and put the Island on an even playing field with the rest of Canada in terms of trade. In addition to the significant creation of local jobs, it will also highlight Vancouver Island’s advantage in industrial land availability and affordability in comparison to the Lower Mainland,” said Maksim Mihic, CEO and general manager of DP World Canada.

The signed agreement is a first step in the planned terminal expansion, currently estimated at $105 million. It is funded through a mix of public and private investment, including a $46.2 million federal contribution through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) and a $15 million provincial contribution as a part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan.

“I am proud that the Nanaimo Port Authority and Snuneymuxw were able to come to a new foundation that can generate benefits for everyone, including Snuneymuxw First Nation, and through this new relationship framework I am focused to conclude an impact benefit agreement in real time,” said Chief Michael Wyse, Snuneymuxw First Nation.

DP World is one of the world’s largest port operators. The project will enhance DP World’s coast-to-coast Canadian footprint, which includes terminal operations in Vancouver, Surrey, Prince Rupert, and Saint John.

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