SHIP: Cheep No More

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Whatever else our port promoters Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP) have been up to these past few months, they’ve finally cleaned up their internet presence. These quotes, for example, have been removed from their revamped web page:

They’ve also changed their logo. From this:

To this:

I could say more about this (oh, I could say so much more about this) but I won’t. That said, I advise you to stare at it for a bit and see what you see.

For those who are keeping track, since Barbusci and Sheehy launched their company in 2015, they have changed its name once (it started as Harbor Port Development Partners) and its logo three times.

 

Gmail

The outdated media contact information has been replaced by this:

Contact: Albert Barbusci
Chief Executive Officer
Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (S.H.I.P.)
abarbusci@gmail.com

I think the idea that a real mover and shaker in the international shipping world would make do with a gmail account is open to debate, but it’s a functioning gmail address, so I’m going to cut Barbusci some slack on it.

The “wordmark” of the government of Canada, which once appeared on the Novaporte home page, is gone, but its replacement — a maple leaf — seems to broadcast the same (erroneous) message that the Novaporte project is somehow connected to the government of Canada:

Click to enlarge

 

Leadership

Barbusci, SHIP’s CEO/Principal, has invested in a professional, non-blurry headshot and rewritten his bio to note that he is “a born entrepreneur” who is “expansive in his view of business opportunities, especially those of a global nature.” That said, the description of his business success still focuses pretty much exclusively on the advertising agency he founded in Montreal and sold to Japan’s Dentsu in the 1990s.

Barry Sheehy, also a principal, has pretty much the same bio he had before, except that “gamut” is now spelled correctly.

Canderel CEO Jonathan Wener has been added to the leadership team although he has no title other than “Chairman and CEO the Canderel Group.”

 

History

The site includes an article by regular Cape Breton Post contributor Rannie Gillis about the role played by Sydney during two world wars:

The strategic location of Sydney Harbour, at the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, means that whoever controls this port, which is one of the finest natural harbours in the world, also controls access to the St. Lawrence River, the industrial heartland of central Canada, and the important port-cities of Quebec City and Montreal.

It’s an interesting point to make on the website of a group that wants to give control of the port to the government of the People’s Republic of China. (The China Communications Construction Company is 63.8%-owned by China Communications Construction Group Limited, a state-owned enterprise wholly owned by the State Council of China.)

 

Partners

Engineering giant Bechtel and rail operator Genesee & Wyoming (G&W), both of which used to be listed as “partners” in the Novaporte project, have been dropped. Instead, according to the website:

Strategic partners including Ports America, China Communications Construction Company, Canderel, government partners and many private investors are propelling this project forward.

Further down the page, the authors get more chatty about their partners:

With its operator and design/build partners in place, NOVAPORTE™ has received support from former Prime Minister Jean Chretien who is the project’s international advisor. The project received endorsements from Canadian municipal, provincial and federal government officials, while funding for the construction part of the project is coming from both Canadian and offshore investors.

NOVAPORTE™ is also pleased to partner with a Canadian leader in engineering and environmental services, Stantec, along with ZPMC, the largest producer of cranes and maritime equipment in the world and Dentons, the largest law firm in the world with extensive networks across North America, Europe and Asia. AECOM is also associated with the project for port engineering services.

Most recently, Chiefs of Nova Scotia’s 13 Mi’kmaq communities announced they fully support the project.

ZPMC (Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited) is an arm of the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Dentons is Chretien’s law firm. (We know the Port of Sydney has already paid Dentons for services rendered.)

As for Stantec and AECOM, I wrote to both to clarify the nature of their “partnerships” in the Novaporte project. AECOM has yet to respond but Stantec spokesperson Rachel Sa told me in an email:

[A]t this stage, Stantec is still finalizing our role in the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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