Another deal sought for Steel Electrics

Washington State Ferries wants to get rid of the Steel Electric boats as soon as possible. However, nobody seems sure who will get the antiquated vessels.

Two companies appear to be vying for the four boats, Tacoma-based Managing Green and Seattle-based Environmental Recycling Systems.

The Seattle company submitted a new proposal April 10 for the four vessels. The company’s proposal will either to scrap the vessels or move them to operations overseas. Details weren’t immediately available.

Marta Coursey, spokesperson for Washington State Ferries, said the priority of the sale is to get the four vessels moved out of the ferry system’s facility at Eagle Harbor. She said workers need the space for maintenance of the fleet, particularly now that backup boats are not available.

She said the deal with the Tacoma’s Managing Green is still an option. The company submitted a $30,000 deposit for the four vessels but hasn’t come to a purchase and sale agreement with Washington State Ferries.

Managing Green offered to pay $650,000 for the four ferries.

Environmental Recycling Systems had originally offered to purchase the four vessels in September 2008 for $500,000 plus a share of the money made from scrapping the vessels. The ferry system’s share of the scrap metal earnings would have been $200,000. However, plans changed when the price of steel plummeted.

Coursey said the ferry system is now offering to sell the four ferries at a substantial discount. She said the purchase price is confidential until Washington State Ferries accepts a proposal.

“Disclosing prices during negotiations would hinder WSF’s ability to accomplish an advantageous sale,” Coursey said in an email.

The sale with Managing Green is apparently delayed until the company can find moorage space.

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