Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has awarded Atlantic Towing Limited a three-year contract, worth around $67 million, for the supply and operation of two emergency offshore towing vessels (ETVs) in support of Canadian Coast Guard following an open and competitive process.
The vessels – Atlantic Eagle and Atlantic Raven – are capable of towing large commercial ships in distress, such as tankers and container ships, before they get too close to shore and will be tasked to patrol British Columbia’s West Coast as part of Canada’s Ocean Protection Plan.
“We are pleased to be the successful bidder for this contract, which will provide employment for 50 people,” comments Gilles Gagnon, VP and General Manager of Atlantic Towing. “We are committed to serving the Canadian Coast Guard with the Atlantic Eagle and the Atlantic Raven, two highly capable vessels, providing safe and reliable service.”
The two vessels will contribute to the Coast Guard’s Environmental Response Program by assisting with vessels in distress in the challenging conditions of deeper waters, and providing an initial emergency response in the event of a pollutant release. The ETVs may also be called upon to assist with various Coast Guard programming, such as Search and Rescue (SAR), Aids to Navigation, Marine Communications and Traffic Services, Maritime Security and humanitarian relief.
As part of the contract, Atlantic Towing Limited will also provide training in offshore emergency towing to Coast Guard personnel and partners, including Indigenous communities, involved in marine safety. The contract also includes seven additional one-year options.
This contract fulfills an immediate operational need to have vessels available as soon as possible, while the Government of Canada works in partnership with Indigenous communities and local stakeholders to develop a long-term strategy for emergency towing on the West Coast and across Canada.
The contract is for the provision of vessels for the next three years. The two leased vessels will be operated by Atlantic Towing Limited personnel, along with members of the Canadian Coast Guard, off the coast of British Columbia. One will patrol a northern area in Canadian waters between Alaska and the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and the other a southern area including the west side of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Both vessels will be on-site in late 2018.
The Request for Proposal for the lease of these vessels was issued in February 2018 following extensive consultation with industry and stakeholders, including Indigenous communities.
“This contract award will ensure that the Canadian Coast Guard has the vessels it needs to respond to incidents involving large ships off the coast of British Columbia, to the benefit of the environment and coastal communities, said Carla Qualtrough”, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.
The contract is part of the Canada’s $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to ensure Canada’s coasts are healthier, safer and better protected. In collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come. An important part of this Plan is ensuring the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment it needs to prevent potential marine pollution incidents.
“Under the Oceans Protection Plan, our government is putting in place concrete measures so we can better prevent and respond to marine pollution incidents. These vessels will enhance the Canadian Coast Guard’s emergency response capacity off the West Coast, and help to make Canada’s waters and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier”, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.