Friday, March 7, 2014

Vancouver Shipyards Awarded Ferry Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Canadian vessel design, construction and repair company Vancouver Shipyards has been awarded a $15 million contract for the construction of a new cable ferry to service a route between Buckley Bay and Denman Island for BC Ferries.

Vancouver Shipyards, a subsidiary of Seaspan Marine, received the contract award after a competitive procurement process that included three shortlisted shipyards – two in Canada and one in the United States.

The 257-foot cable ferry is expected to be built to accommodate up to 50 vehicles and 150 passengers. Construction is scheduled to start in June, 2014, with delivery of the vessel slated for the first quarter of 2015, with operation beginning by the summer of 2015.

“We are proud to partner with BC Ferries to build its first-ever cable ferry,” Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter said in a statement. “This cable ferry will allow us to fine-tune our skilled workforce as we prepare for efficient construction of the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) for the Canadian Coast Guard this fall.”

Seaspan has a multi-year, multi-billion dollar opportunity to build up to 17 vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

However, Seaspan is in the second year of a two-year, $200 million modernization project, scheduled for completion by early Fall 2014. After this, construction of the first NSPS non-combat vessel is expected to take place in October, 2014.

“Our capacity in the coming years will be consumed by this work and we look forward to opening up efficient commercial shipbuilding at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, including future BC Ferries new builds and mid-life upgrades, once the early NSPS vessels are successfully delivered,” Carter said.