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Department of Transportation and Works want to complete Gallipoli ‘as quickly as possible’

The Norton Galatea being pulled on the slipway at Burry’s Shipyard on Friday, June 1.
The Norton Galatea being pulled on the slipway at Burry’s Shipyard on Friday, June 1. - Jonathan Parsons

Work on vessel was moved from Burry’s Shipyard to St. John’s

CLARENVILLE, N.L. — The province’s Department of Transportation and Works says the decision to cancel the contract at Burry’s Shipyard for the M.V. Gallipoli and move the work to St. John’s boiled down to the timeline to complete the work.

However, these statements didn’t ease the minds of the people at Burry’s Shipyard, and they believe the process will ultimately take longer due to the restart at Newdock in St. John’s.

The Burry’s Shipyard slipway was damaged on Feb. 12 of this year, shutting down work on the Gallipoli at the Clarenville-based shipyard. The ship was removed from the slipway about a month later, but still sat idle at the dockside for 12-weeks, despite the fact that the rest of the work on the vessel, all except for what a dry dock was needed, could’ve continued during that time.

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In a statement released to The Packet on Wednesday, June 6, the Department of Transportation and Works says a stop work order was issued on Feb. 12 to ensure the Gallipoli could be returned to the water safely.

According to the statement, the stop work order remained in place by Occupational Health and Safety officials until the vessel was removed from the slip way and returned to the dockside.

“The vessel was tugged back into the water in March. Since that time, our top priority has been to get the repairs completed and get the vessel back into service as quickly as possible,” reads the statement.

But the board at Burry’s say a second stop work order then prevented them from resuming work in March, even after the vessel was free from the slipway.

The statement from the province goes on to say the contract was cancelled with Burry’s and moved to St. John’s because of “uncertainty regarding the scheduling repairs and certification of the shipyard’s rail slipway and the need to get the M.V. Gallipoli back into service as soon as possible.”

They added that they found Burry’s projected schedules to be unacceptable — independently reviewed by Seashore Marine, who stated that plan was “not realistic.”

However, according to management at Burry’s, their timelines were much shorter compared to how long they expect the vessel to be completed now at Newdock — especially having to start over in St. John’s.

The slipway was operating again in Clarenville on June 1, and Burry’s provided certification to The Packet that proved it could accommodate a vessel the size of the Gallipoli.

Since the announcement of the cancellation of the contract, Burry’s were forced to lay off many of their employees due to lack of work.

Jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons

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