Heddle Marine wins Coast Guard contract months after aborted refit

Questions are being raised about the awarding of another refit contract for the Canadian Coast Guard ship Hudson to the same company behind an aborted refit on the science research ship last year.

"My question is, with the problems with that dry docking, why was this firm allowed to bid on this one?" asked Wayne Snow, the CEO of Dartmouth-based KMS Industries Inc.

Snow was an unsuccessful bidder on a mechanical refit of the Hudson. The work was awarded Friday to Heddle Marine Service Inc (NL).

It's an affiliate of Heddle Marine Services, which carried out the troubled $4-million exterior overhaul of CCGS Hudson in 2017.

That refit was months behind schedule and still unfinished when Public Services and Procurement Canada stepped in in October and towed Hudson out of the Heddle Marine shipyard in Hamilton, Ont.

Why a second chance?

The plan was to complete the refit at a federal facility in nearby Burlington, Ont., but the job was incomplete when Hudson returned to its Halifax home port in November. The vessel was operating under an interim provision certificate by Lloyds Register. 

The contract has been under review for months and outstanding issues remain.

"For us, it's an issue that should be answered by government as to why this company is allowed to come back and bid after not completing the first refit," said Tony Kennedy of Canadian Marine Engineering, another losing bidder.

Kennedy and Snow are competitors, but are united in speaking out on this tender.

'Substantially' lower bid....

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