The Government of Canada recently awarded a contract valued at $5.7m to Marine Recycling Corporation for the disposal of the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) former Iroquois-class destroyer, HMCS Athabaskan.
As part of the contract, the company is responsible for towing the vessel to its facility located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. At this location, Marine Recycling will then demilitarise equipment, remedy hazardous waste and recycling of any remaining materials.
The Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, Carla Qualtrough said, “Our government is ensuring that these historically significant vessels are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner while creating jobs and bringing economic opportunities to communities across Canada.”
The contract will sustain approximately 30 jobs in the region, according to Sydney-Victoria (Nova Scotia) MP Mark Eyking.
The HMCS Athabaskan, the last of the four Iroquois-class destroyers, is currently at the Canadian Forces Base Halifax and is expected to be dismantled by July 2019. The retirement of the vessel is part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), which is focused on renewing and upgrading the RCN fleet.
The destroyers are slated to be replaced by up to 15 Canadian Surface Combatants with the expected delivery of the first ship by the mid-2020s. In the meantime, the modernized Halifax-class frigates, the Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels and Victoria-class submarines will provide the RCN with the capability to deliver on its core mission.
“The former HMCS Athabaskan served Canadians and protected our waters with distinction for more than 44 years,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence. “I am grateful to all Royal Canadian Navy members and veterans who have served with honour and dignity aboard this ship throughout its long and storied history.”