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Work awarded for B.C. Ferries' fleet maintenance unit overhaul

Contract value is commercially sensitive and is not being disclosed, B.C. Ferries says
Proposed multi-purpose machine shop | B.C. Ferries

Bird Construction has been awarded the contract to modernize and improve B.C. Ferries’ fleet maintenance unit located on 40 acres in Richmond.

The contract value is ­commercially sensitive and is not being disclosed, said B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall, who confirmed Bird was awarded the job. Work will begin this year and be completed in 2027.

Bird, more than 100 years old, is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and has a workforce of about 5,000. It operates in a variety of sectors, including light-industrial, buildings, utilities, mining and transportation.

Bird’s corporate office is in Mississauga, Ont. It also has offices across the country, including in Richmond.

B.C. Ferries received approval to go ahead with the project in fall 2022 from the B.C. Ferries Commissioner, an independent regulator watching over the system.

The cost has increased, as have many major construction projects given inflation, supply chain issues, higher interest rates and a shortage of labour.

About 40 per cent of the work done on B.C. Ferries’ 39-vessel fleet is carried out at the Richmond facility. Planned improvement would move that figure to 50 per cent, B.C. Ferries said.

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