The Nova Star, the ship that has been identified to sail between Yarmouth and Portland, in her berth.
The Yarmouth Vanguard has been notified that Graham Steele, the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, will be in Yarmouth on Thursday and will to deliver to media an update on the contract negotiations that have been underway with STM Quest.
The company was identified as having submitted the top proposal for a ferry operation.
The Vanguard will report on what the minister has to say that afternoon on our website and also on Facebook page.
Negotiations have been underway with STM Quest, since the province announced on Aug. 13 the results of an evaulation committee that examined the three proposals that were submitted for a potential resumption of ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.
Steve Durrell, the company's chief operating officer, says the company's plan has been to put into service a new, state-of-the-art ferry – the Nova Star –capable of carrying 1,200 passengers. The plan is to operate a May-to-October service.
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The company, under the name Quest Navigation, was one of two bidders in the government’s first RFP, which failed to produce a qualified bid. The company took what they learned from that first RFP process, went back to the drawing board and formed a joint venture company with ST Marine, Ltd..
STM/Quest, which is based in Maine, is partnering with International Shipping Partners (ISP). According to the company’s website, ISP is the world’s largest dedicated passenger ship operator and management company. ST Marine is the builder and owner of a BO619 vessel, which the company intends to christen Nova Star. The ship is in Singapore.
The negotiations have involved meetings both here in Nova Scotia and in Portland, Maine.
The government has said that if a deal cannot be negotiated with STM Quest, it will commence negotiations with the next proponent identified on the list that submitted a business plan for a ferry operation.