Government of the Northwest Territories purchases assets of NTCL

December 16, 2016
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (DECEMBER 16, 2016) — Minister of Finance Robert C. McLeod confirmed today that the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has purchased the assets of Northern Transportation Company Limited (NTCL) for $7.5 million. This timely action has been taken to protect the petroleum product supply chain  for NWT communities along the Mackenzie River and Arctic coast.

Reliable and dependable barging services are a lifeline for many remote NWT communities and industries that do not have other options for obtaining fuel and other goods economically.

NTCL’s specialized equipment is essential to marine resupply along the Mackenzie. The GNWT’s purchase of these assets will help ensure that small NWT communities will continue to get the fuel and goods they need and reduce the likelihood that increased transportation costs would raise the price of power and other goods in these communities. 

The high cost of living is a significant problem for residents of small communities that the GNWT is committed to addressing.


“It is the role of government to ensure that essential services are provided to residents and that the costs for providing these services are affordable. Purchasing NTCL assets was good value for money and makes sure that the marine transportation sector in the NWT will be sustained. The GNWT will be reaching out to private sector partners in the coming months to come up with a made-in-the-north marine transportation services solution for our residents.”
- Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • NTCL was founded more than 80 years ago and has provided essential marine transportation services in the NWT since that time.
  • As a result of changing market conditions, business declined over the last decade, and NTCL filed for creditor protection in the spring of 2016; the final date of protection being December 15, 2016. 
  • The GNWT issued a tender to identify a new transportation provider following notice from NTCL that it would be discontinuing its business, but was unable to identify an alternate contractor.
  • The GNWT submitted a fair bid on the NTCL assets based on an evaluation of their market value.
  • The GNWT does not intend to operate the marine fleet with its own forces, but will look to partner with an expert private sector marine operator.

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Media contacts

Andrew Livingstone

Senior Cabinet Communications Advisor
Department of Executive
Government of the Northwest Territories
Box 1320 Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Tel: (867) 767-9000 ext. 11091
Fax: (867) 873-0169