Vale looking for more worker housing

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Flotel being proposed for peak construction at Long Harbour

Vale is looking to quickly provide more accommodations for workers building its new Long Harbour Processing Plant, as it comes up on peak construction at the site.

The company has been presented with various options for housing workers, including a floating hotel, or “flotel.”

“We want to add capacity at the camp in view of peak employment,” spokesman Bob Carter said Tuesday.

The site is expected to have 4,500 working at peak.

Vale went looking for a contractor to provide an “overflow camp” earlier this year. In a call for expressions of interest, the company stated it was looking for a supplier for 200 to 300 single-occupancy dorm rooms, along with kitchen and recreation facilities.

The infrastructure would be needed for about a year and “may be land or marine based,” the call stated.

The company has yet to make a decision on what form the overflow accommodations will take, but the idea of a flotel is being put forward, The Telegram has learned.

On Aug. 31, a local company passed a regulatory hurdle for a flotel proposal, earning approval from the Canadian Transportation Agency, under the Coastal Trading Act, to bring in the Greek cruise ship El Venizelos for the job.

The federal approval is good from Sept. 15, 2012 to Aug. 13, 2013 and is based on the determination a suitable Canadian ship would not be available.

The decision does not mean the flotel is a go. The federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness will have to decide whether or not to ultimately license the ship for operation in Canadian waters.

More importantly, Vale has yet to decide if a flotel will best meet its needs, when it comes to housing workers at Long Harbour.

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

 

Organizations: Canadian Transportation Agency

Geographic location: Long Harbour

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