Maher Terminals is taking an unspecified stake in a long-planned container terminal Melford International Terminal hopes to build in Nova Scotia.
MIT, which announced the deal Wednesday, is developing a 315-acre container terminal, an intermodal on-dock rail facility and a 1500-acre logistics park on the mainland side of the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia.
Under the agreement it signed with MIT, Maher Terminals will become a shareholder in and provide services for the new terminal. Maher Terminals operates container terminals in Prince Rupert, British Columbia as well as Port Elizabeth, New Jersey.
When phase 1 of the project is completed, the $350 million terminal will consist of two berths with initial projected capacity of 1.5 million 20-foot equivalent units per year.
The parties intend to commence commercial operations by 2013, or as required by market demand.
Plans for the new Maher Melford Terminal feature deep water berths of 60 feet at mean low water, an ice-free 100-foot deep channel and no air draft restrictions.
MIT said the terminal will enable the most direct and convenient service for intermodal trade between North America and emerging Asian markets, through on-dock rail access to key markets throughout Canada and the United States.
“This terminal will, in many ways, be an East Coast version of Prince Rupert,” said MIT President Paul Martin. “Maher’s experience makes them an ideal partner for Maher Melford Terminal.”
Maher Melford Terminal will connect to key interior North American markets through intermodal rail service provided by Canadian National Railway, which serves Nova Scotia via its East Coast Mainline. The route is fully cleared to provide double stack service.
MIT, which has been working on plans for the terminal since 2007, is a privately-held developer whose owners include a partnership of Nova Scotia businessmen as well as Cyrus Capital Partners of the U.S. and UK.
It has also received investment from Milbrook First Nation that was designed to help Nova Scotia’s economic development.
The Nova Scotia owners as well as Cyrus Capital Partners plan to play an active role in the development of Maher Melford Terminal.
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