Government questions Kiewit’s commitment to Marystown
In a recent meeting between Premier Kathy Dunderdale and Kiewit CEO Bruce Grewcock, she asked him a direct question: are you committed to running the Marystown shipyard?
Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy, who was also in on the meeting, told media in St. John’s Wednesday the premier was polite but to the point.
“The premier, politely but firmly put it to the CEO: what is the level of commitment? Are you interested in maintaining the shipyard in Marystown?”
Kiewit had indicated it could only build one of the modules for the Hebron offshore oil platform at its Marystown facility - instead of two.
The province’s other major industrial fabrication site - Bull Arm – is also tied up constructing another Hebron module. That means there’s a third module that will now likely have to be con- structed outside the province.
Mr. Kennedy estimated that means a $60 million to $100 million project that potentially won’t be done in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“There’s a lot of work in this province right now in shipbuilding. We were concerned that maybe Kiewit weren’t as interested in the work, as opposed to trying to straighten up issues within their own shipyard and to improve quality and productivity.”
Mr. Kennedy indicated Mr. Grewcock assured them Kiewit is, in fact, interested in running Marystown for the long haul. It just couldn’t handle two large modules at the same time.
This isn’t the first time the issue of Kiewit’s commitment to Marystown has come into question. Opposition critic Yvonne Jones pointed out that last year the company backed out of a federal shipbuilding contract because it was too busy, only to lay off hundreds of workers a short time later.
Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy addressed the media Wednesday on a meeting with Peter Kiewit CEO Bruce Grewcock in New York recently.