DRD PRESS RELEASE - JULY 7, 2014
The Department is currently engaged in a project to replace the existing roll on roll off ferry, the MV Canna, and once the new vessel is in service it will further secure this vital service for the people living on Northern Ireland’s only inhabited off shore island.The new ferry for use on the Ballycastle/Rathlin route is expected to be ready for operation in the later part of 2016.
Proposed new Rathlin Harbour layout - Options C and D
The new berthing layout for Rathlin doesn't appear in the DRD leaflet but it did appear in the display in the ferry terminal beside Ballycastle harbour. I was a bit surprised to read that Option B with its 1.5m draft could use the present harbour as I'm told the MV Canna with its 1.4m draft has been known to scrape its way into the inner harbour, depending on the state of the tide.
DRD has provided the following clarification:
The estimated cruising speeds for all options is the same as the existing vessel to meet the existing timetable (approx 9 knots).
The current view is that Option B would require new berthing arrangements. The intentions are that Options A,B & C would be designed to use the existing facilities in Ballycastle, Option D may require alterations.
DRD also stated:
A new contract, which will start on 1st July 2014 has recently been awarded to Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd and will run for two years but with options to extend beyond this. This contract was secured by way of an open procurement process facilitated by Central Procurement Directorate.
Is this not at odds with the OJEU documentation which refers not to an open procedure but to the following:
Type of procedure
Award of a contract without prior publication of a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (in the cases listed in Section 2 of Annex D1)
Justification for the award of the contract without prior publication of a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU):
1) Justification for the choice of the negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice in the OJEU in accordance with Directive 2004/18/EC
2) Other justification for the award of the contract without prior publication of a contract notice in the OJEU
The contract has as its object services listed in Annex II B to the Directive.
The OJEU documentation for the Torbay ferry contract, on the other hand, does refer to an open procedure.