Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The gong show (more commonly known as marine shipping to the north coast) is under way finely.
The Northern Ranger is limping its way up Lake Melville towards Rigolet and the Astron is supposed to be on its way north from Lewisport.

For a good laugh ya gota listen to the interview Minister Hedderson gave with Tony Dawson of CBC HV-GB yesterday.
I know, its is no laughing matter but better to laugh than cry I say.

After all the BS that Hedderson spewed over the last months, and years for that matter, about having a new vessel on the books (could have been built by now) we are now back to the Astron for a three year contract and a cancellation of the previous 15 year CFP and re opening the CFP for another new or second hand vessel for an undetermined amount of time.

All this would be mute if they had gone ahead and built the new vessel (government) 6 years ago, and it would have been a hell of a lot cheaper that whatever they come up with in the next 5 to 10 years.

Hedderson claimed that they had 5 bids for the 15 year CFP, what he did not say until yesterday was that the 5 were from the same company, Labrador Marine (LM).
All were deemed inadequate according the Hedderson, so he threw them out and issued LM a three year short term contract for the Astron.

One wonders where was CAI_Nunatsiavut, the new kid on the block, in the  CFP? 

CAI still has the contract to operate the Ranger as well as the Bond when needed. Some may remember CAI operated freight, passenger and wharfinger services last year for the first time.

What has not been asked, therefore not answered is- who will be doing the wharfinger contract in GB as well as the coast.

The CAI-Nunatsiavut sign is not on the shed at the dock in Nain anymore.

Even more ominous for the coast is Hedderson yapping on about looking at what the future configurations are for transport needs for all of Labrador. Is this just more stall tactics or do they have a plan for a road linking all coastal communities to Goose Bay.

Personally I doubt that a road will be built in the foreseeable future. Some may think a road or rail link to any uranium mine outside Postville may be on the cards. Lets just hope that is wishful thinking, and it is years down the road anyways, and it does not meet all the other communities needs.

We had all these pipe dreams floating around in the early Voiseys Bay negotiations, non came to fruition.

Another warm one on the way by feel of it, 5 days in the low to high 20s, good for growing but we are not acclimatized just yet. By the time we are the arse will fall out of her boy.


Jon Feldgajer said...

thought you might be interested in this story for your blog!

Darren Robertson said...

Ah.The bid I was not even allowed to view without supply of lots of documents. So much for openness I suppose. In viewing available ships I did see an interesting candidate. An Ice classed-C Pallet carrier with an 80 ton crane. She can hold 56 TEU containers in the holds and 68 more on deck. Or easily handle all the stone products the NG affiliate companies produce. Not to mention ten reefer plugs in two holds. Meaning she could also portage away NG affiliated seafood products. I wonder if the transport gods would view her as too new? She was launched in 2002. She also rather economically gets on with less the 6 mtons of gas-oil at a decent 10 knot cruising speed.Compared to a fuel pig like the Northern Ranger, who has fuel hungry ice breaking engines. OH dear. I am babbling in logic again.

Brian said...

Only thing I see wrong about that configurations is the lack of ro ro capability. Essential for up here considering the volume of vehicles and heavy equipment for construction.

Cant see them having a container ship and a ro ro plus Northern Ranger.

The last time they were TALKING about replacement it was for a combo container, ro ro passenger.
Local people want a separate passenger or Northern Ranger type with ro ro container for freight.

As to stone products, dying a slow death at moment.

Darren Robertson said...

I was just perusing the maintence logs listing expense's for the Northern Ranger in 2011. They spent a lot of cash maintaining the old MAN brand diesels on that ship last year.

Found here:http://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/tabled/pdfs/PublicTenderActExceptionsReportMarch2011.pdf

In reading your posts I missed last year; I am surprised the ships did not bring container handling equipment with them. It is pretty clear the port infrastructure was never given the proper handling equipment. If your ship comes with an 80 ton crane, it can just as well offload heavy container moving equipment first. Then the cost of said equipment could be defrayed over numerous stops, instead of the expense of having them in each port. Leaving each locale to concentrate on just having a good sort building. Though I agree some form of container moving system would be good. Or alternatively the smaller and easier to handle Euro-pallet containers would be better.