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Ports America announces deal for proposed Novaporte terminal in Sydney, N.S.

FILE PHOTO: In this Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, photo, the container ship Hanjin Montevideo is escorted from the Hanjin Terminal in the Port of Long Beach, in Long Beach, Calif. The facility proposed for Sydney harbour would be capable of handling the largest container ships in the world.
FILE PHOTO: In this Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, photo, the container ship Hanjin Montevideo is escorted from the Hanjin Terminal in the Port of Long Beach, in Long Beach, Calif. The facility proposed for Sydney harbour would be capable of handling the largest container ships in the world. Stephen Carr/The Daily Breeze via AP

The biggest terminal operator in North America has signed a deal to work with Sydney harbour to develop and operate a marine container facility proposed for the Cape Breton community.

Ports America says in a news release it would manage and operate the Novaporte terminal for 40 years and provide services such as labour management, and the maintenance and repair of the Sydney Harbour Investment Partners facility.

The news release says work could start within two years if the project succeeds in setting up deals with enough shipping companies.

It says the deep-water marine container facility would be capable of handling the largest container ships in the world.

Peter Ford, chief strategy officer at Ports America, says the Sydney port is well-located for vessels on the Great Circle route between Europe and Asia via the Suez canal.

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However, a study prepared for the province of Nova Scotia in June recommended that Ottawa and the province be cautious about supporting the proposed facility in Sydney, questioning its economic viability and raising the possibility it will dilute traffic to existing facilities in Halifax.