03/12/2014 11:25 EDT | Updated 05/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotia issues request for proposals to remove wreckage of MV Miner

HALIFAX - A request for proposals has been issued by the Nova Scotia government to remove the wreck of the MV Miner, which has been stranded in a protected area off Cape Breton for more than two years.

The government is asking companies bidding for the work to submit proposals on how they plan to safely remove the 12,000-tonne ship.

The request for proposals says the vessel still has contaminants on board including about 6,000 kilograms of asbestos-containing materials.

The bulk carrier became stranded in September 2011 off the coast of Scatarie Island, a provincially protected wilderness area, after a line snapped in rough seas while it was being towed from Montreal to a scrapyard in Turkey.

Nova Scotia's transportation minister has called for federal funding to help with the removal, but Ottawa has not budged, and in December he announced the province will forge ahead to get rid of the 223-metre ship.

At the time, Geoff MacLellan said the provincial government intended to have that done prior to the beginning of the lobster fishing season in mid-May.

The request for proposals will be open until April 23 and the government says the winning bid will be announced within four weeks.