Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seaspan Shipyards Win NSPS Non-Combat Contract

Canada's Federal Government has chosen Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards as the prime contractor to build the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) program’s non-combat vessels.

The $8 billion program is expected to pump billions of Canadian dollars into the local economy and create an average of 4,000 jobs over the next 8-years.

The non-combatant vessels covered by the contract include the Joint Support Ship, the Polar Icebreaker, the Offshore Oceanographic Support Vessel, and the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels.

NSPS was devised as a long-term solution to develop Canada’s maritime capabilities. The award is based on a 30-year roadmap for the development of new ship platforms. A second award covers the design and production needs for the country’s military vessels.

“We are honored to have been chosen to provide non-combat vessels for the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy and Coast Guard,” said Jonathan Whitworth, Seaspan CEO. “We have a long and established track record of working with the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard in building ships on time and on budget. Seaspan is committed to returning BC’s shipbuilding industry to its once-thriving roots. This award is a direct result of that commitment. We will deliver world-class ships to Canada.”

Whitworth credits the winning of the contract to the team that produced the bid and the participation of many supporters including the Government of British Columbia, local First Nations, shipyard unions and teaming partners from across Canada.

Although planning will begin immediately, construction on the new vessels will not likely start until late 2012. In the meantime, more than $150 million worth of infrastructure will be built at Seaspan’s shipyards in North Vancouver and Victoria, while vessel design work is being finalized.

In addition to the current contract, the Canadian Government has plans for a further 17 vessels which could also fall under the non-combat package.