POLITICS

Government says still no timeline for removal of ship stranded off Nova Scotia

08/15/2012 03:57 EDT | Updated 10/15/2012 05:12 EDT
HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government said it still doesn't have a revised work plan for the dismantling of a ship that ran aground off Cape Breton almost a year ago.

On Aug. 2, Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker said he expected the Bennington Group to provide a revised plan on how it intends to remove the MV Miner within a couple of days.

But the New York-based company has yet to do that, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Department said Wednesday.

Dan Davis said the Bennington Group reaffirmed its commitment to the project during a meeting with the government on Tuesday.

The company's provincial authority to remove the ship expires Aug. 31, and Davis said it has yet to formally request an extension.

The vessel ran aground off Cape Breton on Sept. 20, 2011, while being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey.

Since then, the 230-metre bulk carrier has been sitting on Scatarie Island where it is becoming increasingly damaged by rough waters.

The removal of the ship was expected to start this week after more than a month of delay. The plan was to have the work completed before the more active part of the hurricane season, which is usually in September.

Davis said the company told government officials that the next step is to conduct a pre-demolition site survey, but no timeline was given.

"We don't have details about what's involved in that," he said.

Davis said the company is "not really showing anything closer to real progress."

Calls to the company's lawyer were not returned.