Bay Bulls boatbuilder lands barge contract

Moira Baird
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C&W Industrial Fabrication has landed a one-year, $2.5-million contract from the federal government to build 15 barges at its Bay Bulls yard.

The family-run business will deliver those 30-foot barges to the Canadian Coast Guard by March 2011.

They'll be used to respond to oilspills and other kinds of pollution at sea.

"These particular barges are our first-response barge. They're used to move small amounts of equipment and people to a spill location," said Roger MacDonald, supervisor of environmental response for the coast guard.

Bruce MacDonald, supervisor of environmental response with the Canadian Coast Guard, explains the designs of the new CCG environmental barges after an announcement that a $2.5-million contract has been awarded to C&W Industrial Fabrication of Bay Bulls to

C&W Industrial Fabrication has landed a one-year, $2.5-million contract from the federal government to build 15 barges at its Bay Bulls yard.

The family-run business will deliver those 30-foot barges to the Canadian Coast Guard by March 2011.

They'll be used to respond to oilspills and other kinds of pollution at sea.

"These particular barges are our first-response barge. They're used to move small amounts of equipment and people to a spill location," said Roger MacDonald, supervisor of environmental response for the coast guard.

The barges will also be used to tow oil-spill containment booms and place the booms around spills.

Irvin Crane, C&W's operations manager, said the contract will add five to 10 employees for a year to the company's usual workforce of 50 people.

C&W specializes in designing and building equipment, boats and barges for fishing industry and offshore oil sector.

A decade ago, the company built 58 aluminum patrol boats for the Venezuelan government.

"It took us two years ... we were on-budget, on-time," said Crane.

He's confident the company can complete the coast guard contract by next March.

"We can handle this. We don't see any problems. We've a year to do it - we'll have it done in a year."

Once completed, the barges will be trucked to their destination. Four barges will be stationed in the province, while the rest are destined for the Maritime provinces, Quebec, Ontario, B.C. and the Arctic.

MacDonald said the new barges will be a step up from the 35-year-old boats the coast guard currently uses.

"The ones we have now are reaching the end of their life. This is a great investment for us."

He said the barges need to be stable, powerful and small enough to fit on a trailer. Each one is equipped with twin 150-horsepower outboard engines.

One will be stationed at Argentia, and the rest will remain at the coast guard depot in Donovan's Industrial Park and be trucked to spill locations as needed.

Senator Fabian Manning announ-ced the contract Monday on behalf of federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.

"As part of its mandate, coast guard's environmental response program follows up on about 1,200 reports of spills in our water every year.

"They deserve the right tools and equipment to help them perform their jobs safely and effectively."

C&W's contract is part of a $175-million coast guard program to build 68 small ships and 30 environmental barges, and to do major repair work on 40 of its largest ships.

Fifteen 40-foot barges are also being built in Halifax.

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: C&W Industrial Fabrication, Canadian Coast Guard, Argentia

Geographic location: Bay Bulls, Maritime, Quebec Ontario Arctic Donovan Halifax

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Recent comments

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    B'y Jarges, idiots like you are the reason I haven't moved home yet.

  • B'y Jarges Barges
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Good work boys ye got a couple of crumbs off the ole LOAF. While having the work is good its still a bit sad, Barges? What ever floats ya boat.

  • Maurice E.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    The highest oil pollution risk is on Canada's East Coast (85% of oil tanker movements occur on the East Coast and Placentia Bay has been identified has the highest risk area for a catastrophic spill). So what percentage of these pollution response investments will be stationed outside Newfoundland and Labrador and outside Eastern Canada? It appears that most of these barges will be going elsewhere.

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    B'y Jarges, idiots like you are the reason I haven't moved home yet.

  • B'y Jarges Barges
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Good work boys ye got a couple of crumbs off the ole LOAF. While having the work is good its still a bit sad, Barges? What ever floats ya boat.

  • Maurice E.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    The highest oil pollution risk is on Canada's East Coast (85% of oil tanker movements occur on the East Coast and Placentia Bay has been identified has the highest risk area for a catastrophic spill). So what percentage of these pollution response investments will be stationed outside Newfoundland and Labrador and outside Eastern Canada? It appears that most of these barges will be going elsewhere.