Nfld. & Labrador

$15M contract awarded to remove oil from Manolis L shipwreck

The company that raised a sunken cruise ship off Italy now has the job of removing oil from a wrecked paper carrier off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

Ardent Global specializes in wreck removal, previous jobs include raising Costa Concordia cruise ship

The Manolis L paper carrier has been underwater near Change Islands for more than 30 years. (Courtesy Maritime History Archive, Memorial University)

The federal government has awarded a $15-million contract to remove oil from a sunken paper carrier off Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay.

In a news release Thursday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it had hired Ardent Global for the job.

The company is a specialist in the field of wreck removal and offshore decommissioning. Previous jobs include raising the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which sank off Italy in 2012, and salvaging a collapsed jack-up drilling rig, Troll Solution, from the Gulf of Mexico in 2016.

The Manolis L has been lying under 70 metres of water since it sank in 1985. Cracks developed in the hull during a storm in 2013.

In 2016, a technical assessment determined that 115-150 cubic metres of oil remain trapped in the wreck. The freighter was also carrying about 60 cubic metres of diesel.

The Canadian Coast Guard placed a cofferdam around the leaking vessel but it was determined that the oil should be removed. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

The Canadian Coast Guard spent $6 million on a technical assessment of the wreck, after a local citizens group complained about pollution and demanded a cleanup.

According to DFO, all recoverable oil will be removed from the Manolis L. Planning is already underway and work should begin in July.