Marc Garneau, minister of transportation and infrastructure, speaks during a funding announcement on Wednesday at the Port of Nanaimo’s cruise ship terminal. Garneau announced that the federal government is investing $46.2 million to expand the Nanaimo Port Authority’s Duke Point operations. (NICHOLAS PESCOD/The News Bulletin)

Federal government commits $46 million to Port of Nanaimo expansion

Duke Point will see expanded wharf, new warehouse, administration building, cranes and more

More cargo ships will likely be coming to Nanaimo in the near future.

The federal government announced on Wednesday that it is committing $46.2 million to expand the Port of Nanaimo’s Duke Point terminal, which includes expanding the existing wharf from 182 metres to 325 metres, constructing a new warehouse and administration building, replacing an existing crane with two 24-metre cranes, increasing the storage area and upgrading drainage, sewer, electrical, water and security systems.

The overall project is expected to cost $90 million, with the port authority and DP World, a publicly traded United Arab Emirates-based company that operates dozens of ports throughout the world including the Duke Point terminal, contributing funding.

Marc Garneau, minister of transportation and infrastructure, made the announcement at the port authority’s cruise ship terminal on Wednesday afternoon. He said the expansion project will reduce congestion, improve access for international destinations and provide better connections between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

“We have to ensure that our products, our services and our citizens have access to key global markets,” he said. “The investments I’ve just announced will make our transportation systems stronger, more diversified and promote long-term prosperity in the region.”

Garneau said the fluidity of the country’s trade corridors is key to the success of Canadian businesses in the global marketplace and critical to the nation’s competitiveness globally.

“It is key to growing the economy and to creating quality jobs for the middle class. We can have the best products in the world, but if we can’t get them to our customers quickly and reliably, we will lose business to other suppliers,” he said.

The project is expected to create around 900 construction jobs, according to the minister.

RELATED: Nanaimo’s vehicle processing centre officially opens

Donna Hais, port authority chairwoman, said the government’s announcement is great news for the city. She said the project is the result of long-term vision, goals and partnerships with multiple levels of government, the Snuneymuxw First Nation and DP World.

“It’s really amazing that a small community like Nanaimo is doing big things,” she said.

Speaking to the News Bulletin, Garneau said one of the decisions to invest in the project was due to Nanaimo’s location to the Lower Mainland as well as private investment into the project.

“There is a lot of shipping that can be done between Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland, the Vancouver-Fraser Port Authority and ultimately internationally as well,” he said. “We think there is a bright future in both of those cases and that is why we felt it was worth investing in the project.”

Garneau also said residents should “feel good” that the port is growing as because it means increased economic benefits for the community.

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog told the News Bulletin that Garneau’s announcement is “truly exciting” and “enormous” for the city and Vancouver Island.

“This really allows us to step again onto the world stage in terms of trade. This is a very significant investment and I couldn’t be happier. I would be hard-pressed to think of another investment in our community in a single project that would exceed this announcement today in the last decade or two,” he said. “It’s huge.”







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Just Posted

Sculpture relocation plan works perfectly in Chemainus

Heavy lifting required to place Cline’s work into Heritage Square

VIDEO: Hoey and other Burma campaign veterans honoured at Cenotaph ceremony Aug. 14

The war in Burma against the Japanese was where Duncan’s only Victoria Cross winner lost his life

Tour to demonstrate mobile-seed cleaner to visit

Event scheduled for Aug. 23 at the Cowichan Agricultural Seed Hub

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island teen was discovered

Lack of consultation on Chemainus Road corridor project irks business owners, residents

Surprise expressed over change to anticipated North Cowichan plans

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read