January 31, 2013: Enhancements to the provincial ferry service are moving forward with the release today of a request for proposals (RFP) for new vessels. The Department of Transportation and Works is seeking proposals from qualified shipyards for a large vessel to replace the MV Captain Earl W. Winsor and a 42-metre vessel to support the overall provincial fleet.

“Our government is taking the next step to ensure that the provincial ferry fleet continues to meet the needs of people of the province,” said the Honourable Paul Davis, Minister of Transportation and Works. “This request for proposals will advance a competitive procurement process, and that means good value for taxpayers and a better overall service for ferry users.”

The department will accept proposals for a period of 90 days. Shipyards will have the option to submit proposals for one or both vessels. This approach provides greater flexibility in determining a competitive price for the work if bidders choose to engage in the higher volume of shipbuilding activity.

“This new vessel will be a tremendous improvement for the residents of Fogo Island and Change Islands and will boost growing tourism opportunities,” said the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and MHA for The Isles of Notre Dame. “I look forward to seeing the construction of the replacement ferry for the MV Captain Earl W. Winsor.”

The Provincial Government is also seeking proposals for the construction of a 42-metre vessel of similar design to the MV Hazel McIsaac and MV Grace Sparkes. This vessel will act as a swing vessel, supporting the provincial fleet by meeting the needs of multiple communities when other ferries are required to be taken out of service.

“Reliable swing vessels are an important element of the provincial fleet, as they provide relief when vessels need to enter mandatory refit, maintenance, or undergo unscheduled repairs,” said Minister Davis. “A new swing vessel will allow for more uninterrupted service, and therefore, a higher quality service for ferry users.”

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Media contact: Ed Moriarity, Director of Communications, Department of Transportation and Works, 709-729-3015, 699-5668, edmoriarity@gov.nl.ca