SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government is investing nearly $17 million in further enhancements related to the Port Saint John modernization project.

“We are continuing to invest in the Port of Saint John as part of our plan to build on the economic success we are experiencing in the province,” said Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Economic Development and Small Business. “The enhancements to the modernization project will build additional capacity to meet the increased demand being created by the private sector, create jobs, and make the port competitive with ports in Halifax and Montreal.”

Dunn spoke on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman, who is also minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.

The new project involves increasing the cargo laydown capacity of the west-side terminal, enhancing crane capabilities, and adding roll-on/roll-off capabilities for wheeled cargo. These enhancements will increase the cargo capacity by 146 per cent between 2023 and 2029.

In addition to the provincial government’s investment of $16.8 million, the federal government is providing $21 million and Port Saint John is contributing $4.2 million.

“This project represents a major opportunity to increase capacity to import and export goods in and out of New Brunswick,” said federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. “Our government is proud to support projects that benefit not only these areas, but all of New Brunswick – creating good jobs and contributing to a stronger economy.”

These enhancements build on the initial 2015 modernization at the west-side terminal, which led to DP World – one of the world’s largest international container terminal operators – agreeing to a multi-decade lease and CP Rail investing more than $200 million in rail lines that connect to the port. Hapag-Lloyd announced last month an additional seasonal call that will connect northern European ports to Saint John.

“Modernizing the Port of Saint John represents one of the biggest economic and infrastructure opportunities of our lifetime,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “Ensuring we have a diversified, well-trained and skilled workforce is critical to ensuring we make the most of this opportunity. As a government, we are proud to support recruitment and training through a workforce partnership with the port community.”

The Department of Post Secondary Education, Training and Labour is working with the port authority to support labour requirements through a workforce adjustment committee. The port authority estimates that more than 800 employees will be required by 2029.

“This funding announcement is a monumental step towards better supply chain efficiency in Canada,” said Craig Bell Estabrooks, president and CEO of Port Saint John. “This will continue to spur major growth and private sector investment in our region, which translates to hundreds of jobs. These infrastructure improvements, combined with our current modernization project, will help our port create new capacity of 800,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.”