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Sydney Steel Corporation
Business Plan




Sydney Steel Corporation Business Plan 2004-05

The business plan is composed of the following sections:

  1. Mission
  2. Planning Context
  3. Performance in Prior Year
  4. Strategic Goals
  5. Core Business Areas
  6. Budget Context


To safely clean up and redevelop the former Sysco site to a productive, self-sufficient business property, providing opportunities for future economic development.

Planning Context

Sydney Environmental Resources Limited (SERL)

Sydney Environmental Resources Limited (SERL) was incorporated under the Nova Scotia Companies Act on July 10, 1990. It replaced the former Sydney Tar Ponds Cleanup Inc. SERL's mandate was to decommission the physical assets of the former Sydney Tar Ponds Clean-up Inc; secure Nova Scotia's land holdings within the Muggah Creek Watershed and Sydney Steel Plant (Sysco) site; assist in decommissioning Sysco and industrial structures on adjacent lands; and provide labour-related services to the
management of Sysco and the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency (NS).

Consistent with its mandate, SERL has provided substantial labour-related services to Sysco since the decision to liquidate the remaining Sysco assets and remediate the site. Approximately 400,000 hours of employment for former steelworkers have been coordinated through SERL.

The security and maintenance of the cogeneration facility, commonly referred to as the incinerator, was a large part of SERL's operation. Toward the end of the 2003-2004 fiscal year, the corporation completed an internal assessment of the overall physical condition of the incinerator. The review concluded that the facility had depreciated to the point that it was no longer economically viable.

On March 4, 2004, the Province of Nova Scotia announced its intention to decommission and liquidate the incinerator. As well, the government stated its intention to combine the operations of SERL and Sysco to better coordinate the remaining decommissioning work at the Sysco site.

Sydney Steel Corporation (SYSCO)

Steelmaking started in Sydney under the ownership of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company Limited in 1901. Over the next several decades, various private-sector companies operated the plant. In 1967, Hawker Sydley, the last private operator of the steel plant, announced it was leaving. The Government of Nova Scotia stepped in and took over the ownership and operations to avert the looming closure and serious economic consequences that would have resulted for Industrial Cape Breton.

As a result, the Sydney Steel Corporation (Sysco) was officially established by an act of the Nova Scotia Legislature and led to more than 30 years of government participation in the operation of Sydney Steel. During that time, the plant experienced many ups and downs.

Ultimately, several factors, such as changing technology and the condition of the world steel market, forced the end of Sydney's steel industry. Through the 1990s, government made several attempts to sell the plant to private owners. Despite these efforts, the last attempt concluded unsuccessfully in January 2001. Government's attention then turned to securing pensions and severance packages for workers. It commenced demolition and a site cleanup process, the selling of Sysco assets, and development of a plan for the future of the property.

Today, Sysco's key activities include demolition, site cleanup, the sale of scrap steel and slag and the redevelopment of the site as an industrial park.

Beginning with the 2004-2005 fiscal year, the operations of SERL and Sysco have been combined. Accordingly, the planning for future activity of the two organizations has been integrated.


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