Sydney, N.S., signs container terminal MOU with two American ports

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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SYDNEY, N.S. - The Sydney Marine Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with the ports of Philadelphia and Delaware to develop a deep-water container terminal in Sydney.
The agreement announced Thursday will push for the construction of a terminal at Sydport capable of accommodating post-Panamax vessels of a type and size unable to enter existing continental ports except Norfolk, Va.
"From Sydney's perspective, we are energized and excited about this alliance," said Jim Wooder, chairman of Sydney Marine Group.
The project's main obstacle remains the shallow entrance to Sydney harbour. A proposed $35-million dredging has yet to be fully funded.
The parties signing the MOU include the International Longshoremen's Association District Council, Ports of Delaware River Marine Trade Association, and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
Jim Paylor, Atlantic vice-president for the longshoremen's association, said ports on the Delaware River aren't big players in the container industry at the moment.
"We're two ports that are basically insignificant ... but all stars are aligning differently," he said.
One of the main arguments for Sydney's shipping potential is its location as the first mainland North American port of call for vessels transiting the Suez Canal.
Environmental assessment approvals have been received for both dredging and terminal construction and a call for proposals to dredge the channel closes at the end of January.
A contract is expected to be issued in late February or early March provided funding can be secured.

Organizations: Sydney Marine Group, International Longshoremen's Association District Council, Marine Trade Association North American

Geographic location: Sydney, Philadelphia, Delaware River Norfolk, Va. Suez Canal

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