POLITICS

Pre-demolition survey of stranded MV Miner expected to happen Monday

08/19/2012 11:23 EDT | Updated 10/19/2012 05:12 EDT
SCATERIE ISLANDS, N.S. - After more than a month of delay, work could start this week on dismantling a ship that's been stranded off Cape Breton for almost a year.

Chris Conohan, the lawyer for the company in charge of dismantling the MV Miner, said he's been told a pre-demolition site survey will happen Monday.

Conohan said the New York-based Bennington Group needs the survey for insurance purposes, but getting both the provincial and federal governments to sign off on pre-existing environmental conditions has been a challenge.

"The difficulty is that there is no one authority to deal with,'' Conohan said in a recent interview from Sydney, N.S.

The vessel ran aground on Scaterie Island on Sept. 20, 2011, while being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey.

Removal of the 230-metre bulk carrier was expected to start last week after more than a month of delays but so far, there's been no progress.

The plan was to have the work completed before the more active part of the hurricane season, which is usually in September.

In addition to delays over the pre-demolition site inspection, the ship's removal was also delayed while a local company was sought to help with the work.

In early August, Bennington Group senior partner Abe Shah said the company hired Sydney-based Parsons Construction.

The Bennington Group's provincial authority to remove the ship is set to expire at the end of this month.

Shah said he will need two months after the survey is completed to dismantle the ship.