An artist's concept of the new Fogo Island ferry. — Submitted image
The president of a local design company specializing in marine and offshore services is disappointed that the Progressive Conservative government failed to live up to one of its Blue Book promises with respect to the latest ferry contract.
Last Wednesday, government announced plans for a new ferry to serve Fogo Island and Change Islands. The $51-million contract to build the 80-metre vessel was awarded to Damen Shipyards of Norway. It will replace the MV Captain Earl W. Winsor.
Leonard Pecore, president of Genoa Design International Ltd. in Mount Pearl, said the awarding of that contract stands in contrast to what’s outlined in the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2011 Policy Blue Book.
“We will examine ways to subdivide tenders so local firms are able to bid on components they are capable of doing without being shut out by components that fall outside their range,” reads a bullet point in a section of the document titled “Prospering Businesses.”
In Pecore’s view, the awarding of the full contract to Damen Shipwards leaves many capable Newfoundland and Labrador companies out in the cold.
“Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened here,” he said. “I’m fully aware, because of my involvement in industry, that we could have competitively provided the service close to $1 million of work out of a $51-million contract.”
Had there been other tenders issued in relation to components of the project, Pecore believes many other businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador could have contributed to the creation of the new ferry.
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