Mysterious Google barge destined for the scrap yard
There’s no smooth sailing for at least one of Google’s mysterious barges.
Parts of the $4 million boat, located in Portland, Maine, are being sold for scrap, a Google spokesperson has confirmed to Fortune.
Google’s three barges sparked a media storm of inquiries when they first appeared in 2013, raising questions about their purpose. Were they floating data centers? A secret lab to design and launch Google’s next stunning project?
No, the company eventually relented: “Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch back in 2013. “Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”
Google had originally envisioned the barges as floating luxury showrooms based in San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles, the AP reported.
The Portland Herald first reported that the barge now floating in the Maine capital had been sold to an international unnamed barge company. Meanwhile, the 63 shipping containers used to create the structure atop the boat will be dismantled and sold for cash, according to the article.
Roger Hale, who owns Turner’s Island Cargo Terminal in South Portland, confirmed that the barge was currently being stored at his terminal, and that he’d known for a while that the barge would ultimately be removed for a sale. Although he said he wasn’t “at liberty to talk about” who bought the barge, he told Fortune he was aware of the sale, and that the process “takes months” to complete when a large company such as Google is involved.
A spokesperson for the City of Portland was not immediately available for comment.