The return of F.-A.-Gauthier still expected by the holidays
November 20, 2019 at 7 h 53 min
Reading time: 2 min
By Charlotte Paquet
Even with no date to provide at this time, the Société des traversiers du Québec continues to ensure that Brother Gauthier will return to service before the holidays.
The Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ) remains on course for the return of F.-A.-Gauthier to service before the holidays at the Matane-Baie-Comeau-Godbout ferry.
"We do not have a date," said Alexandre Lavoie, spokesman for the organization.
As soon as Saaremaa I came into service as a relief vessel at the Matane-Côte-Nord ferry on July 10, 2019, STQ President and CEO Stéphane Lafaut had promised the return of F.-A-Gauthier before winter 2019-2020. The deal has not changed.
Currently, the vessel built at the Fincantierie yard in Italy and inaugurated in the summer of 2015 is docked at the Davie shipyard in Lévis. "He got out of the dry dock. The work that required access to propellers and other equipment below is complete, "says Lavoie.
However, further work must be done before the vessel can return to sea.
Soon a year
It must be remembered that Brother Gauthier, who eventually cost Quebecers $ 175 million, has been out of service since mid-December 2018 due to vibration problems with his azimuth thrusters. In the months that followed, efforts were made to try to identify the source of these vibrations and to understand. Last July, the organization's CEO could not explain the situation.
From commissioning in July 2015 until it was withdrawn three and a half years later, more than 200 breakages had to be repaired. For a long time, the STQ indicated that with a new vessel of this size and with its multiple components, the appearance of problems to be corrected was normal.
A few months ago, mold problems in the ship's hold were brought to light.
After repeated requests from the Parti Quebecois, the Legault government finally mandated, in September, the Auditor General to investigate the choice of the Italian firm, the construction of the ship and the monitoring activities of the shipyard, among others.
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