July 29, 2009

Canadian ferries sold to Abu Dhabi

Three Canadian ferries that cost $460 million in British Columbia have been sold to an Abu Dhabi company for a fraction of their real cost.

CTV News in Vancouver reported the FastCat ferries commissioned by the socialist provincial New Democratic Party in the 1990s for about $200 million will be shipped to the Middle East next month.

Only two of the vessels went into service in 1999, but were berthed soon after because of complaints of the damage being done to shorelines by their significant wake, the Globe and Mail reported. Design problems and manufacturing cost over-runs ballooned the final cost to more than double original plans, the report said.

The ferries were sold to the Washington Marine Group in Vancouver in 2003 for a total of $19.3 million. The group in turn sold the ships to Abu Dhabi Mar, but neither buyer nor seller would disclose the terms, the Globe said.

The ships won't make the voyage in the ocean, but rather will be carried by heavy-lift ships, the report said.