The Port of Sydney handled about 1.2 million tonnes
of cargo in both 1999 and 2000. In 1999, international cargo amounted
to 980,000 tonnes, with a further 263,000 tonnes of domestic cargo
(likely petroleum) handled as well. In 2000, 1.2 million tonnes
of international cargo (likely coal) was handled and only 55,000
tonnes of domestic cargo.
Cruise ships also comprise an important element of shipping activity
in Sydney Harbour. A port corporation has been formed in order to
market the Port of Sydney. The Sydney Port Corporation Inc. would
like to manage and promote the four major port facilities in Sydney
Harbour, including: SYSCO Wharf, Emera International Pier; Sydney
Marine Terminal; and Sydport. To date, only the owners of the Sydney
Marine Terminal (CBRM) and Sydport (Laurentian Energy) are involved
in the port corporation.
There are a number of potential uses for the SYSCO wharf and backup
lands, including: Bulk Commodities Terminal; Offshore supply Base;
Container and Breakbulk Cargo and Project Cargo. Based on the market
data, the favorable option for the SYSCO lands is to develop a bulk
commodities terminal. This potential was confirmed by American Metals
and Coal Incorporated (AMCI) in the fall of 2001 when they signed
a lease with the province for use of the lands to trans-ship coal.
Although there is some demand for containerized shipping and project
cargo, according to industry sources, Sydney would need to identify
a unique product that needs to be shipped from the area in order
to attract this type of business. Sydport has made it known that
their facility is being positioned as a fabrication facility for
the offshore. This makes sense, although the potential for Sydney
Harbour as an offshore supply base is still tenuous, as it is currently
re-moved from areas that are actively under exploration and when
exploration begins in the Laurentian Basin, Newfoundland and the
Strait of Canso will be tough competitors.
Good long term planning for the port should encourage and promote
off-shore uses. However, good planning should also promote diverse
port activities, and there is nothing to suggest that holding the
SYSCO assets for this “potential” should out-weigh current
opportunities, especially given Sydport and their market focus.
There is good potential to move other bulk commodities, including
coal, coke and iron ore, gypsum, salt, fly ash, bulk resin, and
dolomite across the SYSCO wharf. A detailed discussion of these
commodities and potential customers is included in Appendix