Increased grain exports are expected to be the key to the forthcoming Port of Oshawa expansion.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image via Port of Oshawa
The Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) has revealed more information on the plans for the upcoming $30 million Port of Oshawa expansion.
The funding—first announced in July by the Federal Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra— revolves around $14 million from the Government of Canada to be added to $16 million from HOPA.
The monies will be used to extend the east wharf to double its current ability to handle docked vessels. Doing so will remove some 12,000 trucks off the roads annually which will provide some GHG emissions relief. It will also, it is assumed, provide local area farmers with better support for the transport of their crops to national and international buyers.
The eastern wharf expansion will allow for two shipping vessels to be docked and serviced at the same time to allow the loading and off-loading process to be quicker and more efficient.
The increased docking capacity will also allow farmers to achieve faster delivery.
The Port of Oshawa is used to export about 75,000 metric tonnes of grain annually. With the expansion, those numbers will rise dramatically to 250,000+ metric tonnes and are based upon the expected growth of Canadian grain production over the next 10 years.
Ontario’s grain growth over the next decade is expected to rise to two million metric tonnes, with the Oshawa area growth to be 300,000 metric tonnes.
The funding will also be used to create a new grain unloading station and for the construction of additional storage silos. It will also be used to upgrade current storage and container terminals, and to provide extended and re-paved roads within the harbour space. The expansion of marine infrastructure will also be provided.
Although HOPA has indicated it wants to also upgrade the western side of the harbour, the current project funding will not be used there.
The Port of Oshawa is Durham Region’s gateway to the world, handling more than 500 vessels carrying over three million metric tonnes of cargo over the past decade.
On average, the port handles $23 million worth of cargo annually, from salt and steel products to asphalt and grain.
The movement of cargo through the Port of Oshawa supports 294 jobs and generates $6 million in federal and provincial taxes annually.