Government of the Northwest Territories celebrates addition of new double-hulled barges to MTS fleet

News Releases

Tuktoyaktuk — September 1, 2020

The Government of the Northwest Territories is pleased to announce the addition of four new double-hulled barges to the Marine Transportation Services (MTS) fleet.

Built at a shipyard in Nanjing, China, the new barges were transported across the Pacific Ocean on the heavy lift ship Hua Yang Long before being delivered to Tuktoyaktuk on August 31, 2020.

The barges will improve operational efficiency, reduce logistical challenges, and reduce operating costs to the benefit of NWT communities that are reliant on seasonal marine resupply programs. The double-walled barges will also offer protection for Northwest Territories (NWT) waterways and our oceans.

The barges were delivered 381 kilometres outside of Tuktoyaktuk, in a location known as Wise Bay, with no physical interactions or contact with NWT residents as per OCPHO requirements for the NWT. Coordination of their offloading was completed via radio communications only.

An open and competitive process was used for the procurement of the barges, with the solicitation period running from December 19, 2018 to February 11, 2019. Nanjing Jinling Shipyard Co. Ltd. (now called China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Nanjing) Co., Ltd.) was identified as the highest ranked proponent and ultimately awarded the contract.


“Currently, fuel is carried to some Northern communities, particularly those along the Mackenzie River watershed, in single-hulled barges. These new double-hulled barges will minimize the risk of a fuel spill and improve the safety of community resupply operations while helping to stabilize the cost of living for our residents.”

- R.J. Simpson, Minister of Infrastructure


Quick facts

·       MTS previously had only two double-hulled barges that met regulatory requirements for the transportation of petroleum products on Canadian waterways and oceans.

·       The new barges have the capacity to carry multiple types of petroleum products and deck cargo.

·      No Northwest Territories businesses participated in the competitive process, nor did any businesses propose that the barges be built in North America.

·      The $26 million budget for the new barges has been cost-shared between the Government of Canada (75 per cent, or $19.5 million) and the GNWT (25 per cent, or $6.5 million).


Related links

·       Marine Transportation Services

·       Marine Traffic tracker


For media requests, contact:

Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Infrastructure

Government of the Northwest Territories