CAIRO, Egypt–The Novaporte container port and transhipment hub proposed for the Port of Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada was recently showcased at the Suez Canal Global Conference. The conference, hosted by the Suez Canal Authority, is the first international navigation conference for the Suez Canal. The conference began on Monday, February 22, and was opened by Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Admiral Mohab Mamish, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority.
Port of Sydney CEO Marlene Usher attended as a guest of conference organizers, describing the Novaporte project as “transformative opportunity to connect China’s One Belt One Road transportation strategy directly to North American markets through a container port and transshipment hub at the Port of Sydney”.
Novaporte boasts a 16.5 metre deep water unobstructed harbour adjacent to 2,000 acres of developable land connected to the North American rail system, noted Usher, who told delegates that when completed, Novaporte “will be the most modern, efficient, lowest cost port in North America.”
Novaporte is a shovel-ready development with all environmental permits and Aboriginal agreements in place. Novaporte will be located within a Government of Canada designated Foreign Trade Zone, she said.
Dr. Hazem Ghonima of TAF consultants, a keynote speaker the conference, centered his presentation on the logistical advantage of a super container hub. He highlighted the strategic opportunities for Sydney’s Novaporte to partner with the Suez Canal Authority to offer global shippers a competitive route from Asia to North America via Europe.
Albert Barbusci of Harbor Port Development Partners represented the Port of Sydney development opportunity at the conference. “The maritime world is here at this conference and the strategic relationship between the Suez Canal and Novaporte is featured as a keynote address. That’s exciting,” said Barbusci.
Usher and Barbusci met with the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Admiral Mohab Mamish. Barbusci described the meeting as an “important connection as we bring together the global interests to build Novaporte”.
Barbusci said he hopes to further discussions with Suez officials over the coming months. Several global firms are partners and supporters of the Novaporte project including China Communications and Construction Company, US engineering firm Bechtel, railway partners Genesee & Wyoming via their subsidiary Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway and Canadian real estate development company Canderel. The Port of Sydney is home to marine services companies McKeil Marine and Canadian Maritime Engineering, ferry service Marine Atlantic and bulk-materials handling facilities owned by Provincial Energy Ventures and Logistec.