Glovertown Shipyard questions ferry contracts

Andrew
Andrew Robinson
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Glovertown Shipyard says new provincial ferries should be built in this province.

The company recently failed in its effort to get to build one of the six coastal ferries needed along the south coast.

This past summer, the Department of Transpor-tation and Works issued tenders for 10-year contracts to provide ferry services. Companies had the option of providing an appropriate existing vessel or constructing new vessels, said Harvey Humby, manager and co-owner of the Glovertown Shipyard.

Gander -

Glovertown Shipyard says new provincial ferries should be built in this province.

The company recently failed in its effort to get to build one of the six coastal ferries needed along the south coast.

This past summer, the Department of Transpor-tation and Works issued tenders for 10-year contracts to provide ferry services. Companies had the option of providing an appropriate existing vessel or constructing new vessels, said Harvey Humby, manager and co-owner of the Glovertown Shipyard.

Four companies placed bids, one of which Glovertown Shipyard had made contact with to provide an estimate of how much it would cost the company to build a ferry.

But the shipyard had not been in contact with either of the two companies that were eventually awarded the contracts - Clarenville Drydock and Glovertown's Norcon Marine.

According to Humby, Clarenville Drydock is looking at having construction work overseen in the United States.

Humby said the provincial government should've included provisions in the tender to ensure any new construction work was carried out in the province. He figures the provision wasn't included to avoid charges of protectionist practices from trading partners.

"We're saying you could have given us a chance," Humby said.

"You could have put something in the tender that would force us to give a bid and see if we were going to be competitive with the United States."

In a news release issued Nov. 13, acting Transport-ation and Works Minister Tom Marshall defended the province's commitment to having ferries built within the province - a commitment that was called into question in a news release from the Liberals.

"The leader of the Opposition, (Yvonne Jones), and the people of this province know full well our government's commitment to building vessels in this province," Marshall stated in the release.

"Our vessel replacement strategy is seeing the province's fleet being upgraded with newer, modern vessels."

In its 2009 budget, the province invested $44 million in the construction of new provincial ferries, $13.4 million on maintenance of the existing ferry fleet and $7 million in the maintenance of ferry terminals and wharves.

Humby said business has not been great for Glovertown Shipyard lately, particularly given the state of the fishing industry.

"We've got a bit of work here, but we're not up to capacity," he said.

There are between 25-30 employees at the shipyard - a sharp contrast from last year, when 85 people were working at the site. At peak capacity, the shipyard can employ 150 workers.

Dan Burry, general manager for Clarenville Drydock, could not be reached for comment.

The Beacon

Organizations: Department of Transpor

Geographic location: United States, Glovertown

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Recent comments

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Just imagine if we were competative enough to attract work from the US, or Korea, instead of the other way around. Instead of the Gov. always having to prop up the provinces shipyards with infusions of taxpayer money, and then selling them off for a dollar, we should be overwhelmed with contracts. Why, why is it that every other shipyard in the world can attract business, but the ones here always have to rely on the Gov. teat to survive?

  • Ha Ha
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Shall the new MHA for Terra Nova be fighting for businesses in his district now or will he toe the party line and keep his mouth shut?

  • No
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    It isn't really clear from the article; are these ships being built in the United States or did a company from the US win the contract and will be overseeing the fabrication that will be done in this province. A little clarification on the MAJOR issue of the article would have been nice Telegram.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Just imagine if we were competative enough to attract work from the US, or Korea, instead of the other way around. Instead of the Gov. always having to prop up the provinces shipyards with infusions of taxpayer money, and then selling them off for a dollar, we should be overwhelmed with contracts. Why, why is it that every other shipyard in the world can attract business, but the ones here always have to rely on the Gov. teat to survive?

  • Ha Ha
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Shall the new MHA for Terra Nova be fighting for businesses in his district now or will he toe the party line and keep his mouth shut?

  • No
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    It isn't really clear from the article; are these ships being built in the United States or did a company from the US win the contract and will be overseeing the fabrication that will be done in this province. A little clarification on the MAJOR issue of the article would have been nice Telegram.