Dominion Diving took delivery of two brand new multi-purpose vessels this week. The two vessels, named Dominion Rumbler and Dominion Enforcer, were offloaded at the Ceres Terminal on Tuesday after arriving in Halifax over the weekend.
The purchase marks the first time the 51-year-old Dartmouth marine services firm has bought brand new vessels. Dominion Diving was looking for two new work boats to modernize its fleet, much of which is made up of decades old government surplus vessels, which are inefficient to operate and lacking in modern technology. The new vessels will be replacing Big Steel, a 1955 built ex-Canadian Navy yard tender, and Dominion Phoenix, declared surplus by the federal government in 2005.
Unfortunately for Dominion, finding boats with their deck space and power requirements was proving difficult. ACL Ship Brokers found the two new Damen Stan Tug 1205s available at the builder’s yard in the Netherlands. With the onset of the COVID pandemic earlier this year, and the uncertainty it brought, the two vessels were well priced, though Dominion would not divulge the actual cost. It did say the normal price would be $2.4-million each. As a bonus, Quebec-based Pomerleau had also purchased the Stan Tug 1205 Saint Georges, and Ontario based Doornekamp construction, which also operates the Picton Marine terminal, bought the 2013 built Amy Lynn D, a Shoalbuster 3209 tug, as well as the barge Jacob Joseph C from Damen. They were already being delivered to Canada, leading to a discount in shipping.
The Amy Lynn D sailed from the UAE, picking up the Jacob Joseph C in Spain, having been delivered there from the Netherlands, with the three tugs aboard. In Facebook posts, the Master of the Amy Lynn D, Tjalling van der Zee, posted comments and photos of the North Atlantic crossing from Spain to Halifax. The seas were rough, with the barge on 800 metres of tow cable.
The purchase marks the end of a five-year plan to position Dominion to succeed, with the end of offshore oil and gas. As part of that plan, Dominion Diving acquired the Dominion Warrior, a square vessel with large working deck and a crane in 2018.
Dominion Diving, founded in 1969 as a diving company based in a Cole Harbour garage, now sees itself as a full-service marine firm. With the end in sight for offshore oil and gas in Nova Scotia, the company is positioning itself to support research within the ocean supercluster, as well as tidal energy projects in the Bay of Fundy and offshore wind farm development, having been contracted to work on the installation of two wind turbines offshore from Virgina, the installation of which was staged out of Halifax earlier this year.