Nanaimo’s Duke Point shipping terminal is about to get much bigger, and a lot busier.
The Port of Nanaimo announced Wednesday that it has signed a 50-year lease agreement with DP World, that will see the Duke Point terminal significantly expand and result in increased shipping between Nanaimo and Vancouver, as well as expand direct access from Nanaimo to global markets in Asia.
“This project will solidify Vancouver Island on international markets, initially through the short sea shipping links to the Lower Mainland and subsequently to direct calls in Nanaimo,” Ian Marr, the port’s president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.
As a result of the lease agreement, $105 million worth of upgrades are planned for Duke Point, including expansion of the terminal berth 182 metres to 325 metres, a new truck gate, as well as new warehouse and administration and maintenance buildings.
Additionally, the terminal’s container yard storage area will be increased and the existing diesel quay crane will be replaced with two 16 container-wide electric quay cranes. Upgrades to drainage, sewer, electrical, water and security systems are also planned.
The expansion is being funded through a mix of public and private investment, including a $46.2 million federal contribution through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) and $15 million from the province, according to a press release.
“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,” Maksim Mihic, chief executive officer and general manager of DP World Canada, said in a press release.
DP World is a Dubai-based company that operates terminals around the globe, including in Vancouver, Surrey, Prince Rupert, and Saint John.