Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Seaspan Completes Shipyard Modernization

By Mark Edward Nero

Seaspan-owned Vancouver Shipyards on Nov. 6 officially celebrated the completion of a two-year, $170 million shipyard modernization project.

The project, funded entirely by coastal transport company Seaspan Marine Corp., transformed Vancouver Shipyards into one of the most modern facilities in North America, and is expected to allow for the effective and efficient delivery of vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.

The new facilities include Canada’s largest permanent gantry crane, four new fabrication buildings and a new load-out pier.

“We have built a state-of-the-art shipyard right here in North Vancouver, tailor-made to support Seaspan’s role as the non-combat capability provider to the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy,” Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth said.

The completion of the modernization project coincides with the commencement of construction on two initial blocks for the first ship, the Canadian Coast Guard’s Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel, slated for completion by the summer of 2016.

“We have begun our work for the Canadian Coast Guard on the initial blocks of the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel,” Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter said. “We estimate the new vessel construction work we will do for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy will result in the creation of 5,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs over the next 20 years, produce almost $500 million per year in gross domestic product for B.C.’s economy, and mean thousands of people will get the opportunity for an exciting career in shipbuilding.”

Once full production on the new vessels commences in the spring of 2015, Seaspan says, it will also create stable work over the next decade for suppliers throughout British Columbia and across Canada.
In addition to the Vancouver Shipyards project, Seaspan has invested an additional $15 million to upgrade facilities at Victoria Shipyards. Work, which includes a new operations center to support testing, trials and commissioning of the new federal vessels, is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.