Melford plans to clear site when ground freezes

Project well positioned compared to Halifax, Sydney -- Mann

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – The planned site for the Melford International Terminal project will be cleared as soon as the ground freezes, Richie Mann, the company's vice president marketing, told The Journal Tuesday. The company intended to clear land along the Strait of Canso in MODG, with Port Hawkesbury Paper contracted for the work, when the birding season was done, but Mann said it makes sense now to wait until the ground freezes.

"That will make it easier on the harvesters and everything else," he said.

The timing also aligns with the company's recent work in updating some items that were part of its environmental approval. Conditions of that approval have been met, he said, and other information has been updated by the company and submitted to the Dept. of Environment. MIT is now waiting for feedback on that information.

In clearing the site, Port Hawkesbury Paper will harvest wood and biomass for its plant at Port Tupper.

Mann said MIT is in a "positive" position right now in the changing landscape of East Coast ports. With increasing attention on the ambitions and challenges of port development at Sydney and Halifax, "it seems to be that part of the solution could be Melford.

"What’s becoming apparent is the congestion that ports are facing," said Mann. "And whether it’s (the challenges of) truck traffic in Halifax or the lack of a quality rail service in Cape Breton, along the East Coast Melford compares very favourably.

"As the industry continues to change, Melford looks positive. We have a lot of attention focused on us right now. We have a lot of comparisons being made, and therein lies opportunities."