$73M upgrade underway at Richmond Terminals
A $73-million upgrade is taking place at the Richmond Terminals, including the installation of a new road, three railway tracks and a 550-metre pier.
"It's part of improving our competitiveness," said Michele Peveril, a spokeswoman for the Halifax Port Authority.
"This Richmond upgrade gives us the chance to move cargo around and handle it at this end of town in the next decade or two as volumes increase."
The Richmond Terminals in the north end of Halifax is a common-user facility that handles break bulk cargo, or cargo that can't fit into a 20-feet container. Right now, much of that is landed in another part of the port, at piers that may have to be converted to handle containers.
The cargo landed at the terminal represents three to five per cent of the Halifax Port Authority's business.
The project will renovate existing sheds and strengthen a section of the pier that survived the Halifax explosion.
The Halifax Port Authority is paying for half the project, while the other $36.5 million is coming from the federal government through its Gateways and Border Crossings Fund.
Currently, one of the main users of the Richmond Terminals is Irving Shipbuilding Inc., located next door. The company is one of four vying for a federal shipbuilding contract worth $25 billion.
Peveril said there is no connection between the terminal's expansion and the shipbuilding bid.
"We've often had dealings with them and they've had some space here so there's no immediate driver for this project that relates to the shipyard," she told CBC News.
"Who's to know, in the next coming years whether there would be some relationship or some land use."
Work on Richmond Terminals is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.