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November 15, 2018

Port of Nanaimo terminal to become hub for European car imports

The Port of Nanaimo says construction is well underway at the site that will be home to the new B.C. Vehicle Processing Centre.

A key component of Phase 1 of the project, which includes renovating an existing 60,000 square foot building, is expected to be completed January 1 in time for the first shipment carrying approximately 400 new vehicles slated for arrival to begin the detailing process later that month.

The Terminal will be the initial offloading terminus and preparation area for new European automobiles that will be sent to vehicle dealerships throughout Vancouver Island and the lower mainland, eventually expanding throughout western Canada.

The Port of Nanaimo is partnering with Western Stevedoring and their affiliate organization, the Auto Division of SSA Marine, to design, build, finance and operate the terminal.

The existing pier is being upgraded to allow for berthing of a modern Pure Car and Truck Carrier, a specialized cargo vessel used to transport vehicles and equipment. Nanaimo was chosen as it provides direct short-sea connections to the Lower Mainland, and European Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are experiencing significant capacity constraints and other issues elsewhere.

Port Co-CEO Mike Davidson notes "Phase 1 will see the complete exterior of the building refinished, and 30,000 square feet of the interior retrofit will be a fully functional Vehicle Processing Centre."

Co-CEO Ian Marr adds that following the arrival of the first vessel in the first week of January, "vehicles will arrive every two weeks for the first year, totaling approximately 10,000 within year one. At this point we are seeing 20-25 people daily working in the warehouse, and another 4-5 on the marine works," Marr notes. "We anticipate another 10 more starting this week for the civil and electrical works."

Source: Port of Nanaimo