N.S. company awarded contract to upgrade coast guard's oil cleanup equipment

·2 min read
New equipment will be coming for the Canadian Coast Guard to help clean up oil spills.  (Lamor - image credit)
New equipment will be coming for the Canadian Coast Guard to help clean up oil spills. (Lamor - image credit)

A Halifax-based industrial equipment company has been awarded a $6-million contract to upgrade oil cleanup equipment.

GRIFFIN Engineered Systems will provide equipment for the Canadian Coast Guard.

"In the event of an oil spill, that is not the time to start looking for equipment," said Michael Hebb, the company's vice-president of sales. "You want to make sure you have it all and you know how to use it."

The contract includes a new offshore oil skimmer to be delivered to Nova Scotia in 2023, according to a media release. Others will be delivered to B.C. and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Lamor
Lamor

The contract will also include a crane and specialized skimming equipment to be used in an offshore setting.

Hebb said the skimmer and the specialized equipment will be housed inside a shipping container so it can be placed onto different types of ships. That could be a coast guard vessel, but also an offshore supply vessel as an example.

Part of Canada-wide plan

The contract is part of Canada's $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan. Hebb said the upgrade in Nova Scotia is part of a countrywide modernization plan.

"They've been working over the last several years upgrading all their levels of environmental response equipment," he said.

In a recent release, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray said the purpose of the federal plan is to provide members of the coast guard with the equipment needed to respond to marine pollution incidents.

Lamor
Lamor

"Thanks to these contracts, we are also contributing to economic growth and creating jobs in Nova Scotia and Quebec," Murray said in the statement.

Aside from some smaller incidents, like an oil spill in Halifax harbour in 2018, Hebb said Nova Scotia hasn't really faced a large oil spill since 1970 sinking of the S.S. Arrow in Chedabucto Bay.

Still, he said it is imperative to be prepared.

'Prudent to be prepared'

Hebb said GRIFFIN is thrilled to work with the Canadian Coast Guard but also to see the marine industry expand throughout the East and West coasts.

"I think people are beginning to understand how valuable the ocean is to Canada and our economy," said Hebb.

"As part of getting benefits of the ocean we also have to be prepared in case the worst happens and that there's an incident. This is all equipment that everyone hopes never gets used, but it's prudent to be prepared."

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