The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has responded to a complaint by Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services, recommending a review of a key performance requirement in the process to procure two emergency towing vessels for the protection of Canada’s West Coast.
As a bid participant, Heiltsuk Horizon – a partnership of majority partner Heiltsuk Nation of Bella Bella, British Columbia and Horizon Maritime Services Limited, registered a complaint last August that the winning supplier did not meet important safety requirements of the tender process.
I wrote about the issues with the towing contract in this Chronicle Herald Piece when the Atlantic Towing vessels headed west. Heiltsuk Horizon has not publicly disclosed the vessels they bid on the project, though based on other charters they were likely tidewater tugs.
a letter to Heiltsuk Horizon, the Tribunal recommends the Department of
Public Works and Government Services Canada reevaluate the “bollard
pull” (towing power) of the
vessels in all bids received and also awards Heiltsuk Horizon costs
incurred in submitting the complaint.
“The contract was awarded in the absence of the required proof that the vessels met the mandated towing power,” said Chief Operating Officer Steven Widmeyer, Horizon Maritime Services Limited. “We hope this recommendation leads to a reconsideration of our Heiltsuk Horizon vessels, which are in accordance with recommendations of the 2018 Emergency Towing Vessel Needs Assessment by the Clear Seas Center for Responsible Marine Shipping.”
CITT letter recommends no further expenditures be made on the awarded
contract until a review is complete and also lays out potential actions
to be taken post-review,
including cancellation of the existing contract.
Heiltsuk Nation, currently in reconciliation discussions with Canada,
teamed up with Horizon Maritime to form Heiltsuk Horizon, following the
Nathan E. Stewart oil spill in its territory in October 2016.
On Friday, the Feds signed a contract for $610million to have Davie acquire and convert 3 Icebreakers for Coast Guard use. The first ship is to be delivered by December 2018, with the other 2 to be delivered in Summer and fall 2019.
The ships were built for the offshore industry to work in Alaska, so should be well suited for the job. The Proposed ships are Tor Viking II, Balder Viking and Vidar Viking. the Ships are owned by Norwegian tor, but are flagged, and currently are tied up in Sweden. Built to DNV Ice-10 standards, they will be classed as medium icebreakers in CG Service.
In a separate announcement last week, the feds awarded a contract for emergency towing vessels. the need for these vessels became apparent After several ships broke down in BC Waters, and were rescued by US based Tugs, the feds have awarded a contract to Atlantic towing to provide 2 emergency towing vessels in BC waters for the next 3 years. Word is Atlantic Eagle and Atlantic Raven will be the ships stationed on the west coast.
The Nordika Desgagnés has lost steering off cape breton. She Sailed from Montreal bound for Sydney Austrailia. CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell is on scene and A tug has been dispatched by the vessel owner to tow the Nordika Desgagnes to Port.
(Above) current location via Marine Traffic. (Below) CCGS On Scene Photo.
UPDATE 03/16 12:00:
the ship is apparently facing some weather, and is still in roughly the same area of the Ocean.
The M/V Nordika Desgagnés, a multi-purpose cargo ship built in 2010. With a length of143meters, she has a dead weight of17,000tons and a carrying capacity of nearly 20,000cubic meters excluding the main deck, at a draft of 9.70meters. She is equipped with two cranes of 250tons capacity each which can be combined to lift a total of 500tons,has an additional80-ton crane, holds an ice class equivalent to Lloyd’s 1A and can reach a speed of 15knots. a full spec sheet is available (PDF)
Reports are that she is now bound for Port Hawksbury under tow by supply vessel Atlantic Tern
CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell was relieved by CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. apparently Atlantic Larch attempted the tow first last night, but the tow line failed.
Final Update: the Nordika Desgagnés has been towed to Port Hawksbury, reportedly with Hull damage after one of her cranes came loose. the Tug, Atlantic Tern tied up in Halifax over the weekend.
Atlantic towing recently won a renewal for offshore contracts off Newfoundland and announced they were building new PSV’s to do the work. These vessels would be built offshore.
Seems the built offshore bit is a sort of, as is thier arrival today. Rather then build complete vessels the top sides arrived today aboard the Biglift vessel Happy Sky. Presumably the bottom parts will arrive shortly on a semisubmersible vessel. The tops can then be joined to the hulls completing the ship.
Previous Atlantic towing offshore vessels were built at halifax shipyard. Due to clearances in the old assembly hall top sides were constructed and attached to the hull in the yard, so this procedure is nothing new to Halifax shipyards. I suspect in this case importing ship parts results in less duty to be paid then the 25% paid on imported vessels.
UPDATE: Further research has provided a more interesting case. The ships were assembled Entirely at the Damen Shipyard in Romania. The two vessels were then Towed to Cadiz Spain, where the topsides appear to have been removed directly from the hulls by the Happy Sky. The Hulls are in tow to Halifax by tugs Fairplay 30 and Fairplay 31, and due next week.
The Jim Kilabuk arrived over the weekend and tied up at Pier9. Built as Canmar Supplier IV in 1975 at the Yarrows yard in Esquimalt, She was intended to be used for Oil Exploration in the Beaufort Sea by Dome Petroleum. After that venture ended, she was sold to Northern Transportation, and took her current name in 1995.
UPDATE: Jim Kilabuk Moved to Jetty NA at Shearwater this morning. this suggests she’s doing work for the Navy. She shows Harbour Grace NL as her destination.
Sister Vessel Canmar Supplier II is a Halifax regular, now working for Atlantic Towing as Atlantic Tern. Though She has been modified, you can still see her original lines.
Atlantic Towing Limited announced today that it has secured a new ten (10)-year firm contract, plus a total of 15 years of options at the Charterers’ discretion, with ExxonMobil Canada Properties and Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) for four new state-of-the art Platform Supply Vessels operating out of St John’s, NL. The first ships for the contract will be delivered in 2016 and will join Atlantic Towing’s current fleet of eight offshore support vessels in Atlantic Canada. The new contract means 100 new jobs at Atlantic Towing’s offshore fleet home port of St. John’s, NL.
The new ships, to be designed and built by Damen Shipyards Group of the Netherlands, will deliver a number of environmental benefits including Clean Design designation with a diesel electric power plant, the latest environmental control equipment, wave piercing bow design, and enhanced crew comfort.