The Quebec-based cooperative said it has started the process of building a new grain terminal at Anse au Foulon in the Port of Québec. The agri-business division of the cooperative has been working with a grain distribution center in the region for almost 30 years and the new project is expected to help consolidate those activities.
The new facility also is intended to give Canadian producers of feed and food grains better access to overseas markets including those in Europe and Asia, said Sébastian Léveillé, executive vice president of agri-business at La Coop fédérée. “This is to expand the market that we have right now,” he added.
“We have some relationships with markets in Europe and Asia as well, but through third parties for most of the business that we’re doing,” he told FeedNavigator. “We’ll be able to expand those relationships directly.”
Canada has a competitive grain market and markets in Europe and in parts of Asia including in China and Japan are of interest, he said. “It’s important for Canada to have good points for marketing in Asia, Europe and South America,” he added.
La Coop fédérée is partnering with the government in Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ on the project, the cooperative said. When complete, the site will be able to export 1.3m metric tons of grain annually.
The project is currently waiting for approval by the Québec Port Authority, the company said.
The cooperative is in the process of outreach with surrounding community to establish support for the grain terminal, Léveillé said. That process is anticipated to be completed by mid-July.
“We need to be close to the neighborhood and consult with the people,” he said.
Once that step in the process has been completed, the facility is set to be a four-phase project, he said. The next step will be to transition current storage buildings and a ship loader on the site to be usable with grain, a process that is expected to be completed later this year.
“We hope we’ll ship the first vessel in the fall of this year and the complete project would be completed in 2021,” he said. Additional steps include providing more storage capacity and flexibility, he added.
Eventually, there also may be options to work with specialty grains, said Léveillé. “The door is open to those, maybe we want to build some smaller storage capacity for those specialty products because the trend is [there],” he added.
The overall size of the facility will be modest compared to some of the largest grain terminals, he said. However, it will provide flexibility for products.
“It’s located in deep water which gives us room for large vessels,” he said.