DIGBY - A process known as “ship-breaking” is 80 per cent complete on the MV Princess of Acadia, the ferry that used to sail between Digby and Saint John, N.B.
In June 2017, a $2.66-million contract was awarded to Marine Recycling Corporation (MRC), located in Port Colborne, Ontario, for the disposal of the vessel, which operated for 44 years.
Pierre-Alain Bujold, media relations officer for Public Services and Procurement Canada, says the disposal is being carried out in multiple stages.
“First, the vessel is broken down level-by-level (deck-by-deck), during which all machinery and components are removed,” he says.
“This reduces the weight of the vessel so it is light enough to be removed from the water by the stern.”
Once the stern is removed from the water, the remaining section (the lower hull) is cut into sections and dismantled.
The disposal of the MV Princess of Acadia should be completed this winter.
One hundred per cent of materials from the vessel are either sold, treated or disposed of in Canada. All facilities are inspected, audited and approved by MRC with regards to environmental compliance, safety and downstream facilities/final disposition of materials.
Bujold says these vessel disposal contracts create and sustain many jobs.
“Most importantly, they make Canada a global leader in waste management and sustainability,” he says.
Canadian Pacific constructed the vessel in 1971 at the Saint John Shipyard specifically for the ferry run between Digby and Saint John, N.B.
The vessel held 650 passengers and could transport 180 automobiles.
In 2013 the federal government announced $60 million in funding toward a replacement of the vessel.
The Princess of Acadia was replaced in 2015 by Digby’s current ferry, the MV Fundy Rose.
The government issued a tender notice March 22 that the Princess of Acadia had reached the end of her operational life. Bidding was restricted to contracting companies in eastern Canada.