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Martinac dropped from ferry contract

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Dec. 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
December 14, 2011 6:04 pm

It looks like Washington’s next ferry won’t have Martinac’s fingerprints on it.

The state’s prime contractor building a new 144-car ferry, Vigor Industrial, terminated a subcontract with Tacoma-based J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding today. (Read the letter below.)

Vigor said Martinac refused to meet demands to lower its price to $14.8 million, which Vigor says is what it should cost to outfit the boat with heating and cooling systems and other finishing touches.

Instead, Martinac made a final offer to do the work at the cost of time and materials, without any profit for the company. It was a “creative solution,” Vigor spokesman Steve Hirsh said, but Vigor needs a bottom-line price tag.

“What Martinac offered there was to work with an uncapped, unlimited budget,” Hirsh said.

That won’t work when Vigor has agreed to produce a boat for the state for $115 million, he said.

The cancellation is good news for Everett, where a subsidiary of Portland-based Vigor is now slated to do the finishing work for the price Martinac couldn’t meet.

“If they know how to manage the job in Everett to reach that number,” Martinac Vice President Jonathan Platt said, “they should have no problem knowing how to manage the job in Tacoma to reach that number.”

“I just don’t know what else we could have possibly offered. We’ve got a lot of disappointed guys,” Platt said.

Read the full story in tomorrow’s paper.

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