Uncertainty about Future of Westman Islands Ferry Skip to content

Uncertainty about Future of Westman Islands Ferry

An offer for the construction and operation of a new ferry for the Westman Islands, off Iceland’s southern coast, has been rejected because it exceeded cost estimates considerably. The Icelandic state may take over the project.

The offer was made jointly by the Westman Islands municipality and private company Vinnslustödin. The Icelandic Maritime Administration rejected their offer on the grounds that it exceeded the ISK 10 billion (USD 127 million, EUR 82 million) cost estimate by ISK 6 billion (USD 76 million, EUR 49 million), Fréttabladid reports.

The Maritime Administration requested the Westman Islands municipality reconsider their offer and if they do they may still be involved in the project, but time is running out.

“The Westman Islanders have been given an extension until mid-May for handing in a revised offer. It is an uncomfortable situation but not unsolvable,” said Sigurdur Áss Grétarsson, director of the harbor division of the Maritime Administration.

“If we cannot reach an agreement with the Westman Islanders we will make a special tender offer for the construction of the ferry so that it will definitely be ready by 2010 as planned,” Grétarsson said.

Mayor of the Westman Islands Ellidi Vignisson said he expected they would make a new offer and that an agreement would be reached with the Maritime Administration.

“But the key point for us is that transport to the Westman Islands will increase considerably. The most important thing is that it will happen but not who will be responsible for executing the project,” Vignisson concluded.

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