Nova Scotia

Sydney port marketers eye 99-year lease, or purchase, of site

Mayor Cecil Clarke asked council to approve a request to the province that would allow CBRM to offer a 99-year lease or failing that, to sell the port site for $10 million.

Cape Breton regional council approves extending exclusive contract with Sydney Harbour Investment Partners

Promoters of a proposed container terminal for Sydney harbour say they have lined up funding and builders, but have yet to attract a shipping company. (Warren Gordon photo)

A group of Sydney port marketers got the green light from Cape Breton regional council Monday for exclusive rights to develop a marine container terminal and adjacent logistics park for the next five years.

Sydney Harbour Investment Partners recently signed a deal with Ports America, one of the largest terminal operators in North America, to operate the proposed Sydney terminal.                 

The partnership's current two-year agreement with CBRM is set to expire in June.

Council also approved a request to the provincial government that would allow the municipality to offer a 99-year lease of the port site or failing that, to sell the site for $10 million.

Cape Breton regional council has approved a contract with Sydney port marketers that may see the municipality lease the port site for 99 years, or sell the site for $10 million. (CBC)

That option that didn't sit well with District 6 Coun. Ray Paruch.

​"This is not just a simple signing of an extension to an existing contract. It is far deeper and far wider ranging than that."

Residents 'need this from our council'

District 4 Coun. Steve Gillespie said he supports the agreement with its lease and buyout options.

"What I care about are the business people in this community ... taxpayers in this community who need this from our council."

Under the Dec. 12 agreement, Ports America would manage and operate the Cape Breton terminal for 40 years and provide services such as full stevedore and terminal labour management, terminal operating systems, and maintenance and repair.

However the terminal project will not go ahead until the port secures contracts with shipping lines.

With files from Wendy Bergfeldt