Light at the end of the tun­nel

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

He added that it may not be as big as some of the past projects at the site, “but it’s go­ing to be a good core mod­ule to start off with again and get our­selves back in the off­shore oil busi­ness.”

Sy­nard said the an­nounce­ment gives the town some­thing to build on.

“There might be po­ten­tial for other parts of that pro­ject to come to Marys­town as well,” he said, adding that not all parts of the pro­ject have gone out to ten­der yet.

The pro­ject will be the first one to come to the fa­cil­ity since the com­ple­tion of the drilling mod­ule for the He­bron grav­ity-based struc­ture, which was com­pleted in De­cem­ber 2015. Kiewit shut­tered the fa­cil­ity a few months later in May 2016 and it has been idle ever since.

The Burin Penin­sula Cham­ber of Com­merce say the news is a much-needed sign of hope for em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties on the penin­sula.

“We are ab­so­lutely thrilled,” said Loretta Lewis, cham­ber pres­i­dent. “Work­ing with com­mu­nity part­ners and lo­cal busi­ness own­ers — just to see a light at the end of the tun­nel is ab­so­lutely per­fect tim­ing — well needed and will create much (needed) em­ploy­ment in the lo­cal area.”

She added that it is not just good news to the work­ers who will be re­turn­ing to the fa­cil­ity, but for all busi­ness on the penin­sula.

“It’s been a very tough cou­ple years for the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity,” said Lewis. “Some busi­nesses have closed, some have had to make some very tough de­ci­sions, oth­ers were not look­ing to a good an­other six months, and how long can busi­ness hold out when there’s no em­ploy­ment for the peo­ple to rein­vest in the com­mu­nity, to put money back into the busi­nesses and shop lo­cal — so ev­ery­body was find­ing it tough.”

Lewis said it is very ex­cit­ing news that work is on the hori­zon for the fa­cil­ity.

“Cause there’s so many spinoffs with this type of con­tract,” she said.

Rick Far­rell, pres­i­dent of Lo­cal 20 of Uni­forMarine Work­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion could not be reached for com­ment at the time of fil­ing for dead­line.

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