Transportation and Works
June 10, 2008

Provincial Government Awards $50.5 Million Contract to Build New Ferries

The Williams Government announced today it has awarded a contract for the construction of two intra-provincial ferries that will directly benefit two areas of the province and fulfill yet another major Blueprint commitment.

The contract, valued at $50.5 million, will see two medium-sized vessels built by Peter Kiewit Sons Co., with approximately 25 per cent of the labour sub-contracted to Clarenville Drydock Ltd. Each ferry will measure 42 metres in length and accommodate 16 cars and 80 passengers.

"The significant investment we are making today demonstrates this government�s ongoing commitment to rural Newfoundland and Labrador and revitalizing our province�s transportation infrastructure," said the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works, at a news conference at the Marystown Hotel and Conference Centre.

"Our Vessel Replacement Strategy is a key component of the Williams Government�s unprecedented Infrastructure Strategy, valued at over $3 billion," said Minister Whalen. "I�m proud to say these ferries will be built by skilled Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, contribute to economic growth and create approximately 300,000 person hours of employment."

Minister Whalen confirmed that one of the new ferries will be deployed to St. Brendan�s, while the second will be utilized on the Long Island-Little Bay Islands service. It is anticipated that work on the two new ferries will begin immediately and if all goes according to schedule, the province will receive delivery of its first new vessel by the end of 2009 and the second in spring 2010.

The Honourable Clyde Jackman, MHA for Burin-Placentia West, says the announcement is great news for the region and he is confident in the workmanship of Peter Kiewit Sons.

"This facility with its established workforce is known for its highly-skilled and professional work ethic," said Minister Jackman. "History shows their projects are completed on time and on budget. This project sets the tone for the future of the Kiewit facility in Marystown and the Burin Peninsula and a bright future that will be."

The Honourable Ross Wiseman, MHA for Trinity North, said while the bulk of the work will be done in Marystown, the Clarenville region will play a major role as well.

"I am very pleased that Clarenville Drydock has secured a significant piece of this project," said Minister Wiseman. "The sub-contract is valued at approximately $7.5 million and will undoubtedly provide a tremendous boost to the region�s economy."

Rod Hogg, Manager of Business Development (Atlantic Region) for Peter Kiewit Sons, says his company is anxious to get the process started.

"This contract represents a significant step forward in achieving Kiewit�s long-term plans for vessel construction in our Marystown yards," said Mr. Hogg. "In addition to further ferry vessel construction work for the province�s Vessel Replacement Program, Kiewit has targeted several other large scale vessel construction projects. Success in securing these contracts will allow the long tradition of ship building in Marystown to continue and will become an important economic driver for the Burin Peninsula. We expect that this contract will bring significant spin-off benefits to the local community and for the Clarenville area. Our experience is that benefits to the local community businesses often exceed the value of the contracts themselves."

Minister Whalen also announced that the Provincial Government has initiated the process to build two more new ferries.

"My department will be placing an advanced order for propulsion systems for a third medium-sized ferry, which we anticipate will be in service by mid-2011," said Minister Whalen. "The propulsion systems alone are valued at approximately $2 million. Furthermore, we will also soon be issuing an Expression of Interest to engage a consultant to design a fourth, large-sized ferry."

Minister Whalen pointed out that the Provincial Government has approached the Federal Government for financial assistance as the Vessel Replacement Strategy moves forward.

"Our Vessel Replacement Strategy is currently funded solely by the Provincial Government but the Department of Transportation and Works has requested the Federal Government provide financial assistance under the Structured Facility Financing Program (SSF) and we will continue to pursue funding," said Minister Whalen.

Photo #1: Rendering of 2 new provincial ferries


Media contact:

David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577


  • Each ferry will measure 42 metres in length and accommodate 16 cars and 80 passengers.
  • Each ferry will meet or exceed all Canadian ship construction standards and environmental requirements.

  • Each ferry will have roll-on, roll-off capability with enclosed bows, enabling traffic to exit and enter through the bow and stern.

  • Each ferry will be made with heavier steel and framing so they are ice strengthened for harsh environments.

  • As per new policy, each ferry will be equipped with Voyage Data Recorders and Automatic Identification Systems.

  • Each ferry will have an elevator to assist those with accessibility issues.

2008 06 10                                                         1:00 p.m.


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