Major Port and Infrastructure Investments Flowing In, Out of Canada

The month of March 2015 was a busy one, with announcements of large-scale port and maritime infrastructure investments both within and outside Canada totaling over $5 billion (Cdn).

-By Peter Hurme, Show Director & Editor, Cargo Logistics Expos + Conferences

News - Port of MontrealThe month of March 2015 was a busy one, with announcements of large-scale port and maritime infrastructure investments both within and outside Canada totaling over $5 billion (Cdn).

It was announced in early March that a consortium led by Canada’s Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc. had acquired Montreal Gateway Terminals’ container-handling operation at the Port of Montreal from a unit of Morgan Stanley for a reported $650 million.

“This investment fits well within our core infrastructure strategy, as Montreal Gateway Terminals represents an essential infrastructure asset” said Stéphane Mailhot, president and chief operating officer of Fiera Axium Infrastructure.

Montreal Gateway Terminals operates two of the port’s three container terminals, currently servicing seven shipping lines that accounted for 800,000 TEUs handled in 2014.

Later in March, the government of Quebec announced that as part of a broader economic plan, it would invest $1.5 billion over five years in the province’s maritime sector.

Specifics of the plan include $200 million going towards port infrastructure; $400 million for promotion of logistical hubs with industry partners; and $450 million to attract private investments in such projects.

“The maritime strategy will involve all stakeholders engaged in the development and protection of marine resources and in the development of all maritime industries,” said Carlos Leitão, Quebec’s minister of finance.

By month’s end came news that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, with British partner Hermes Infrastructure, signed an agreement to invest approximately $2.9 billion for at least a 30 percent stake in Associated British Ports, which owns and operates 21 port operations in England, Scotland and Wales representing a broad range of cargo types.

“We are excited about this unique opportunity to invest in a significant portfolio of landlord ports with a proven track record of steady operational performance,” said Cressida Hogg, managing director and global head of infrastructure at CPPIB.

That deal is expected to close this summer.

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