SYDNEY, N.S. — Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP) has announced the expansion of its partnership consortium undertaking the development of the deep-water Novaporte port in Sydney, N.S. to include the Mi’kmaq community of Membertou as well as Bridging Finance Inc.
Novaporte is planned as a multi-use port on 500 acres that is expected to have container capacity of one million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in phase one and three million TEUs by phase three, stated a Jan. 14 release. The port will accommodate vehicle roll-on/roll-off with the infrastructure to support electric vehicles as well as bulk, break bulk, heavy equipment and special project cargo.
Membertou, located three kilometres from downtown Sydney, has an existing partnership through SHIP’s Novazone project. Novazone is a planned logistics park of more than 1,250 acres which is directly adjacent to the Novaporte site. In addition to Membertou, the other 12 Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq communities are also currently shareholders of Novazone.
Design and site work for civic infrastructure at the Novazone logistics park began in 2017.
Bridging Finance is an Indigenous-led private Canadian company providing middle-market Canadian companies with alternative financing options, said the statement.
Design-build partners are the China Communications Construction Company.
SHIP has secured a 99-year land lease option with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, environmental approvals and Canadian Foreign Trade Zone designation for the project. The site is accessible via nearby rail infrastructure connecting the site to Canadian and U.S. markets.
The project will be the first deep-water port on the east coast of North America to be designed specifically to accommodate the largest container ships in the world, 18,000 plus TEUs, said SHIP.
The statement said the next stage will see Membertou become significant equity players in SHIP and Novaporte.
“This project will change transportation patterns in eastern North America and catalyze the Atlantic Gateway,” said SHIP CEO Albert Barbusci, in a statement. “This is a model of nation-building with Indigenous participation and leadership (and represents) an important model for all projects moving forward.”