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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 money from Transport Canada comes from its $4.6 billion National Trade Corridors Fund which is used to help fund infrastructure projects in Canada.

“The National Trade Corridors Fund has been a highly effective program, enabling the creation of new export capacity to get Canadian goods to market faster,” explained Larissa Fenn the Director, Public Affairs & Corporate Secretary for the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority. “It is a matching program that leverages the funds HOPA is also investing in and also encourages private sector investment in the terminal and other infrastructure.”

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.

“This development will benefit Ontario farmers in the GTA-east by enabling them to get in and through the Port of Oshawa faster and easier, without the drive across the 401 to Hamilton. This saves them time and also reduces truck traffic on the 401, which is good for everyone. We estimate the potential to eliminate as many as 12,000 of these cross-GTHA trips, along with their GHG impact,” stated Fenn.

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.

“At a time when we are all concerned about the resilience of the supply chain and the need to quickly, efficiently, and safely get goods to market, this is welcome support,” said Ian Hamilton, HOPA President, and Chief Executive Officer.

He continued, “A strong Port of Oshawa is important to growing industry across Durham Region and will be particularly important for farmers in the area. We are grateful for the support of Transport Canada and the collaboration of our local stakeholders to bring these planned improvements to fruition.”

Fenn noted that: “HOPA was created just four years ago, through the amalgamation of the ports of Hamilton and Oshawa.

“The creation of an integrated port network in the GTHA means that infrastructure decisions can be made more strategically, serving the region as a whole,” she added.

As an integrated port network, the HOPA provides port and marine assets in the Hamilton, Oshawa, and Niagara regions.

Featuring an efficient, multimodal network on the Great Lakes, HOPA supports Ontario industries and facilitates trade, and helps build prosperous working waterfronts in the local communities. Overseeing over 1,000 acres and 140-plus tenant companies, HOPA has over 40,000 Ontario jobs connected to the cargo that passes through its ports.

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 30,000 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.

“The great City of Oshawa is thrilled to see this Federal investment that supports local jobs in our community,” summed up Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “With this announcement, Oshawa takes another major step towards solidifying itself as an environmentally sustainable multimodal transportation hub and global gateway to the Greater Toronto Area, one of the largest markets in North America.”

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