Feds to give $12.5M to Port of Belledune for new conveyor system
The Port of Belledune is getting $12.5 million from the federal government to expand its conveyor belt systems — which CEO Denis Caron says will increase the port's efficiency and global competitiveness.
The $25 million project will create a "dry bulk conveyor loop," connecting the port's current conveyor systems with the deep-water terminal and the staging area, according to a news release from Transport Canada.
Caron said the rest of the $25 million required for the project will be split, with around $6 million coming from private sector investors and a combined $6-7 million from the port and the province.
He said these conveyor systems will be able to connect directly to large vessels and unload or load dry goods in a more efficient way.
While the systems will make the port more effective from an economic standpoint, said Caron, they will also reduce greenhouse gasses.
In the past, Caron said materials would need to be unloaded from the vessels, reloaded onto large trucks, dumped in a storage facility and then shipped out once more using that same equipment.
"So there's a lot of efficiencies in using these conveyor systems because they're able to handle a lot more material. But at the same time, you know, we're reducing our footprint, our carbon footprint, as well," said Caron.
Caron said the Port of Belledune currently handles around 27 different types of dry product, including silica sand, wood pellets and petroleum coke.
The project will also see the renovation of existing storage and the building a new warehouse and transfer tower, said the release.
This project is the second one for Belledune under the National Trade Corridors Fund in the last four years, said Caron.
He said it is currently finishing up a $35 million expansion to be completed in the spring, which is when the planning process for the conveyor project will begin.
Caron said he hopes to be "breaking ground" by fall and he expects the work to be done within two years.