St. Anthony seeking new contractor to complete harbour dredging

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The Harbour Rock is marked at the mouth of St. Anthony Harbour. It has traditionally made it harder for ships to navigate the entrance at the mouth of the harbour. More work will need to be done to finish blasting the rock. - Stephen Roberts

Posted July 17, 2019

Contract terminated with B&R Enterprises

ST. ANTHONY, N.L. — St. Anthony is looking for a new contractor to complete the dredging of Harbour Rock. The St. Anthony Port Authority confirmed to The Northern Pen on July 16 that it had reached an agreement with B&R Enterprises to terminate its contract. The town will now look to negotiate with a new contractor to finish the work B&R Enterprises started in 2017.

The dredging of the Harbour Rock is being conducted near the mouth of the harbour, to allow large vessels, including cruise ships and EIMSKIP container vessels, to enter St. Anthony harbour.

The town and the port authority hope the dredging will lead to an increase tourism, allowing larger cruise ships to dock here, and expand the harbour’s role as an international shipping port.

B&R Enterprises was awarded a $1.5 million contract for the work in 2017. The company determined the dredging was finished in the summer of 2018.

However, in October, a dive team determined there were still some points of rock that needed to be removed to achieve the required minimum depth of nine metres across the channel.

Port authority chair Ernest Simms told The Northern Pen the company did not agree with the findings of the dive team. The company did not return to finish the work.

Instead, the port authority and B&R Enterprises reached a mutual agreement to pay the company for the work that was done and to terminate the contract. The money to pay another contractor to finish the job will come from money that was withheld from payment on the original contract. Simms said the agreement was reached as the town and the port wanted to move things as quickly as possible.

“We wanted to get the work done because we’re waiting for the ships that need that sort of draft – we got cruise ships, we got container ships and everything else that require that draft – so we just wanted to get ahead and do it,” he added.

The St. Anthony Port Authority, the Town of St. Anthony and St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. contributed $150,000 to the removal of Harbour Rock. Federal and provincial governments provided the rest of the funds.

The Northern Pen made efforts to contact B&R Enterprises but no one from the company could be reached for comment.