Acting Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Jim Carr, announced today the award of a contract to Marine Recycling Corporation for $12.6 million to dispose of two Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) ships.

HMCS Preserver and CFAV Quest, which were both put out of service last year are expected to be completely dismantled by the summer of 2019 at the contractor’s facility in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The contract includes towing of ships to Nova Scotia, the demilitarization of equipment, the remediation of hazardous waste and recycling of any remaining materials, according to a news release.

As an Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Preserver completed its service to the RCN after 46 years of duty in 2016. The Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessel (CFAV) Quest, an Oceanographic/Acoustic Research Ship, which was built in Vancouver in 1969 for the RCN was decommissioned last year.

CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept 11, 2013)  HMCS Preserver during a replenishment at sea evolution as part of the annual UNITAS maritime exercise while assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barker/released)

“The Government of Canada is committed to disposing of these historic ships in an environmentally responsible manner,” said the Honourable Jim Carr, Acting Minister of Public Services and Procurement. “These contracts will utilize the skills and knowledge of a Canadian company, while creating good jobs in communities in Nova Scotia and Ontario.”

The disposal of these vessels comes as no surprise and was expected for some time. Both will be replaced by ships being built through the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). But until those ships become available, the modernized Halifax-class frigates, the Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels and Victoria-class submarines will provide the means for the RCN to continue to deliver on its core mission.

“After decades of service to Canada, the former HMCS Preserver and CFAV Quest have reached the end of their operational lives,” the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence said in a statement. “I would like to thank all members and veterans who have served aboard these two remarkable ships.”