MTS cancels barge deliveries to Norman Wells and Tulita

Public Service Announcement

Hay River — May 23, 2024

Due to historically low water levels on the Mackenzie River, all Marine Transportation Services (MTS) barges to Norman Wells and Tulita are cancelled for the 2024 sailing season.

This difficult but necessary decision was made as the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence is not navigable and includes obstacles such as large boulders and gravel bars at key maneuvering areas. Current conditions are unsafe for marine crews and would risk the integrity of vessels, cargo and fuel. We understand that these changes have negative impacts on customers, but safety remains our top priority.

Customers who already dropped off their cargo at the Hay River terminal can either arrange for it to be picked up and taken up on the winter road or leave it at the terminal until the 2025 sailing season. MTS customer service will contact impacted customers directly.

Fuel that was destined for Tulita will be delivered by the Fuel Services Division during the 2025 winter road season. The division is monitoring fuel levels and expect that they have sufficient inventory to last until that time.

Fuel sales in Norman Wells are managed by the private market. MTS has notified Imperial Oil Limited, which is in process of notifying customers to develop alternative supply plans to the region.

As previously announced, customers shipping cargo to communities north of Norman Wells are asked to redirect their cargo to the Tuktoyaktuk terminal.

The sailing schedule to Łutselkʼe on Great Slave Lake is not impacted by this change.

For media requests, please contact:

INF Communications

Department of Infrastructure

Government of the Northwest Territories