Nfld. & Labrador

Companies lining up to make use of idle Bull Arm fabrication site in post-Hebron era

Four companies have answered a request for proposals from Nalcor for use of the idle Bull Arm fabrication site in Trinity Bay.

Nalcor request for proposals draws four bids, including one with roots in Norway

Four companies have responded to a request for proposals to lease the idle Bull Arm fabrication site in Trinity Bay. (Nalcor Energy)

Four companies have answered a request for proposals from Nalcor for use of the idle Bull Arm fabrication site in Trinity Bay in the post-Hebron era.

All four have St. John's addresses: G.J. Cahill & Company Limited, DFB Driver, Pennecon Heavy Civil Limited, and Canadian Supply Base Company.

The first three companies are familiar names in the province's oil and gas industry. Canadian Supply Base Company, however, is a new player with roots in Norway and connections to a company called Norsea, which operates a string of offshore supply bases throughout Europe.

Details of the proposals were not released, and CBC has requested comment from all four companies.

The Hebron topsides platform during joining process at Bull Arm on Dec. 13, 2016. (Submitted by Frankie Donahue)

A spokesperson for Nalcor Energy, which owns the site, said the proposals are being evaluated "with the goal of securing a tenant that will maximize site utilization and attract sustainable business opportunities."

Once the assessments are complete, Nalcor hopes to begin negotiations with one or more of the companies, and potentially sign leases by the end of March. 

"That said, we're not obligated to accept any of the proposals," the Nalcor spokesperson wrote in an email to CBC.

The sprawling 6,300-acre property is described by Nalcor as Atlantic Canada's largest industrial fabrication site.

It has been quiet since the massive Hebron oil production facility was completed and towed out to sea in June.

In late October, Nalcor issued a request for proposals to identify potential users for the site, which has played a key role in the development of the province's oil and gas industry since it was developed in 1990.

At peak there were roughly 4,300 people working at the site as the Hebron platform was slowly taking shape.

It was a period of peak employment, with workers coming from all over the province and beyond for well-paying construction jobs.

But the scene these days is much different.

Hebron is complete and now producing oil in Newfoundland's offshore.

There's just a skeleton crew keeping a watchful eye on the site.

ExxonMobil's Hebron oil platform is pictured here in Bull Arm in June 2017. (Danny Arsenault/CBC)

Nalcor is marketing Bull Arm as an ideal site for activities like steel fabrication, concrete construction, deep water commissioning, platform commissioning, supply servicing, rig-retrofitting and more.

The first project at Bull Arm was Hibernia, which marked its 20th year of oil production in 2017.


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