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Atlantic Kestrel Christened Today in Home Port of St. John´s, NL

St. John´s NL: At a ceremony held today at Pier 11 in St. John´s, Premier Dunderdale officially christened the Atlantic Kestrel, operated by Atlantic Towing Limited.

“This is a proud day for the dedicated team of 170 men and women of Atlantic Towing in St. John’s. The christening of a ship is a centuries-old tradition, and we are very honoured to have Premier Dunderdale serve as the sponsor of the Atlantic Kestrel - the newest and largest offshore vessel serving the Province’s oil and gas industry,” explained Wayne Power, Vice President of Irving Transportation and Logistics Division.

“It is almost 20 years since Atlantic Towing began serving the Province’s offshore oil and gas industry. We are proud to be part of this Newfoundland and Labrador success story, serving great customers like Statoil, ExxonMobil, Suncor, and Husky with a growing team of employees and fleet of high performance ships,” said Jim Irving, Co-Chief Executive Officer of J.D. Irving, Limited. “The arrival of Atlantic Kestrel in its home port of St. John’s is good for business and the environment. Creating 24 new crew jobs, and generating purchases from over 40 local suppliers, this ship also fulfills today’s highest environmental standards with both “CLEAN DESIGN” and “GREEN PASSPORT” international certifications. Coupled with its advanced navigation systems, high ice strengthening and large cargo capacity, the Atlantic Kestrel provides the best offshore support capability for Newfoundland and Labrador today and into future,” Irving said.

“Newfoundland and Labrador is a landmark location for oil and gas, research and development in cold ocean technology, with unparalleled expertise in challenging operating environments and world-class service and supply for oil and gas exploration,” said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Our rich supply of energy resources makes Newfoundland and Labrador one of the most recognized and reputable energy warehouses in North America.”

The Irving organization has been doing business in Newfoundland and Labrador for over 60 years. Today the company employs over 1100 people in diverse operations (trucking, construction, engineering, retail and offshore marine services) across the Province.

Atlantic Towing operates the largest working fleet of offshore supply vessels in Canada. Six of these offshore ships are proudly serving in Newfoundland and Labrador, providing employment to 170 people. Over 40 local businesses provide goods and services to the company’s fleet of ships. Atlantic Kestrel will proceed immediately to work following today’s event supporting exploration projects by Statoil (250-day contract) and then ExxonMobil.

As part of today’s ceremony, a $10,000 donation was made to Iris Kirby House. Iris Kirby House aims to provide shelter and be a safe haven for women and children, providing emergency housing and support services to over 2500 women and children each year. Services are provided free of charge to all residents and ex-residents.