Cape Breton is looking for a terminal operator to build a container terminal on a greenfield tract of land in the deep-water harbor of Sydney, Nova Scotia.
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality launched a marketing campaign Monday to promote the strategic advantages of a new terminal on the 500-acre site it recently acquired on the edge of a newly dredged channel into the Port of Sydney that can accommodate the world’s largest container vessels.
The channel dredging, which was completed in January with $36 million in local and federal funding, deepened the approach to 55 feet from 38 feet. Dredged material was used to create a 150‐acre expansion of the greenfield site directly adjacent to the Port of Sydney channel.
Cape Breton officials are marketing Sydney’s strategic advantages as North America’s easternmost harbor and closest to the Suez Canal. It sits just 6 miles from the sea buoy marking the Great Circle Route from Europe and the Mediterranean, offering the shortest trans-Atlantic route for container lines.
Sydney hopes to provide unrestricted double‐stack rail access to major inland cargo clusters in the U.S. Midwest along with the potential for network feeder services along the U.S. East Coast, but it would have to rebuild a 2.5-mile spur into the port and upgrade a 60-mile short line to Truro, Nova Scotia, where it would connect to CN Railway’s main line.
Sydney officials said a new container terminal would have the lowest cost to build per 20-foot equivalent unit and the lowest ongoing operating expenses per TEU of any North American terminal.
They said all permits have been received for construction and are fully assignable. They are in talks with the International Longshoremen's Association about a labor agreement that would eventually have to be negotiated with the terminal operator.