Mario Girard, president and CEO of the Québec Port Authority (QPA), has announced that Don Krusel, architect of a spectacular transformation of the Port of Prince Rupert, has been appointed managing director of the Port of Québec’s project to build a container terminal. The project is widely seen as a direct challenge to the Port of Montreal. Predominantly a big bulk gateway on the St. Lawrence River, the Port of Quebec was dropped four decades ago for regular container calls by the Hapag-Lloyd group in favour of Montreal, located deeper inland and closer to the strategic U.S. Midwest and Central Canada markets.
The Port of Québec has expansion plans in the Beauport sector that would see 17 hectares of graded land added to adjacent available lands, for an additional 610 meter wharf line with a depth of 16 meters. The Port of Québec would use the new land to build a new deepwater container terminal costing C$400 million with initial capacity of 500,000 TEU. It has not yet completed the environmental regulatory process, and is seeking a comprehensive financing package as well as a potential terminal operator.
Krusel is a major figure in the North American port world. He was the president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority for 25 years. Under his leadership, the Port of Prince Rupert created a new container port gateway for North American trade with Asia, and as a consequence, transformed the Port of Prince Rupert from a small and regional forest and agricultural products facility into the fastest growing container port on the continent.
Since opening in 2007, the container port in northern British Columbia has experienced annual compound growth of over 19% and today is the 3rd largest container terminal in Canada, handling over 900,000 TEUs per year. Direct employment has increased fivefold—from 300 when the container port opened in 2007 to nearly 1,500 in 2017.
Since retiring from the Port of Prince Rupert in September 2017, Krusel has worked as a consultant and was a member of QPA’s expert panel on the creation of a deepwater container terminal. With this appointment, he will be fully engaged in managing the container terminal—a major expansion project for the Port of Québec.
“Bringing Don Krusel on board at this decisive phase in the project is a strategic move that will provide us with welcome highlevel leadership. His reputation in the industry, his indepth knowledge of port operations, and his commitment to the success of the container terminal are all major assets that will help us get Québec City’s deepwater container terminal built,” said Girard.