Government of Canada plans to build two ferries at Davie

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Ferry under construction at Chantier Davie

Public Services and Procurement Canada said today that the Government of Canada is entering into contract negotiations with shipbuilder Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec, for the construction of two new ferries for Transport Canada.

The new ferries will replace the MV Madeleine, which is currently used for service between Îles‑de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, and Souris, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and the MV Holiday Island, one of two vessels used to provide service between Wood Islands, PEI, and Caribou, Nova Scotia.

The MV Madeleine was delivered in 1981 by the Verolme Cork shipyard in Ireland and served under various names on Irish Sea services until 1997 when it was acquired for operation under its present name by current operator CTMA. It can accommodate 750 passengers and more than 200 vehicles.

MV Holiday Island is even older. It was built in 1971 by the Government of Canada for Canadian National Railways (CNR) at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines, Ontario. It has a capacity for 485 passengers and 155 vehicles or 16 tractor trailers and is operated by Northumberland Ferries Limited.

Both vessels are nearing the end of their life cycle. The Government says it wants to ensure the timeline for the construction of the ferries is determined swiftly and that they are delivered within the set timeframe.

The contract value and construction timelines will be determined once negotiations with the shipyard are completed. The Government will also begin discussions with the current operators of the ferries to consult them on the technical features required in the construction.

The Government conducted an industry analysis, which concluded that Chantier Davie is the only known Canadian shipyard with the capacity, recent experience and capability to build these ferries in the required timeframe.

Today’s announcement follows the issue of an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) on May 22, 2019, signaling the Government’s intention to enter into a contract with Chantier Davie for the construction of the ferries. Other interested suppliers had 15 calendar days to submit a Statement of Capabilities to show they met the requirements laid out in the ACAN. None were submitted.

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