The first oil spill response vessel for the Trans Mountain project was launched in Prince Rupert on June 12.
“We’re having four built in Broadwater in Prince Rupert but a lot of the others being built overseas and in the U.S. We used a number of different shipyards,” said Michael Lowry, Western Canada Marine Response Corp. (WCMRC) communications manager.
The spill response organziation is adding 40 vessels to its fleet specifically for the Trans Mountain project to twin the crude oil pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.
Along with the project, Trans Mountain is funding WCMRC’s spill response enhancement program. A total of $150-million is being spent on new bases and vessels along the west coast.
Broadwater Industries, a Prince Rupert company, is receiving approximately $800,000 to build four vessels for the program. The first vessel, launched on Tuesday, is the Sentinel 30, a 26-foot workboat powered by a twin 150 horse power counter-rotating Yamaha engine.
In case of an oil spill, this vessel will deliver personnel and equipment, such as a tow boom and skimmers for waste removal.
“The vessel will undergo some trials and we will send it to it’s permanent home as part of the enhancement. We have some other boats being built in Singapore, and we’ll take delivery of those early next year,” Lowry said.
In the next month, the Sentinel 30 will transition to Van Isle Marina, its permanent base, in Sidney on Vancouver Island.
The enhancement program includes six new spill response bases and WCMRC is adding 120 members to its response crew.