Federal government contracts worth more than $18 million
EDWARDSVILLE, N.S. — A ship breaking company based in the Sydport Business Park has completely dismantled one military vessel and now has two more in its sights.
Marine Recycling Corp. completed the work on CFAV Quest, a former Canadian Forces auxiliary vessel, earlier this spring and crews are now breaking up the former HMCS Preserver, an auxiliary oiler replacement ship decommissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy in 2017.
The Port Colbourne, Ont.-based company was awarded a $12.6-million federal tender to dismantle both ships last summer. In January, Ottawa announced a $5.7-million contract to break up the former HMCS Athabaskan at its dock in Sydport.
Related: Sydport to host shipbreaking of former navy ships
Contaminated material including PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), oils, corrosive chemicals and florescent light tubes containing mercury phosphor powder have been removed from all three vessels and taken to facilities able to handle the hazardous waste, said Wayne Elliott, founder and director of business development for Marine Recycling Corp.
“Our company handles a lot of that material, of course, back here in Ontario as well. We’ve been handling these kinds of wastes for many, many years,” he said.
“All of the wastes go on hazardous waste manifests and permanent waste carriers and vacuum trucks in the case of liquids.”
The PCB waste is transported to the Swan Hills Treatment Centre in Alberta and to another facility in Ontario.
The scrap metal from the Quest had been reduced to “charging box size” material that’s melted down and recycled for any number of uses — typically converted into rods and bars, which are used in the construction industry.
There are about 25 employees working on the dismantling of the ships, according to Elliott.
Eight of those employed are members of the Eskasoni First Nation.
Steve Parsons, general manager of Eskasoni corporate services, said the indigenous community struck a relationship with the ship breaking company last year.
“When they identified that they would need welders and fabricators, I had recently got individuals from the band trained over the last three or four years — they had been in and out of different companies based on the work available — I approached Wayne and his company hoping to create a relationship with him as he was a new company in town,” he said.
“They were willing to give some of our band members an opportunity and a chance because they had a need for skilled workers. Everything is working fine … and when they need somebody, they continue to come back to us.”
Parsons said the band hands over résumés to Marine Recycling Corp., which then does the hiring.
Elliott said he does expect the number of hires to increase over the coming months to as many as 35 and indicated there could be new contracts signed by the end of 2018.
“There are some opportunities coming up and I think by the end of the year we expect the first one and go from there,” he said.
“We see a good long-term business (in Sydport) of recycling all types of vessels, really.”
Marine Recycling Corp.:
• Awarded federal government contract in August 2017 to dismantle the former CFAV Quest and HMCS Preserver for $12.6 million.
• In January, Ottawa tendered a $5.7-million contract to break up former HMCS Athabaskan.
• Work on Athabaskan to continue to May 2019.
Source: cape breton post. 28 May 2018