By Mark Edward Nero
The Canadian government on March 14 announced the signing of two new contracts valued at more than $65 million with Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards as part of the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a federal effort to renew the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard.
The contracts with Vancouver Shipyards are expected to help pave the way for future construction of the Canadian Coast Guard’s offshore oceanographic science vessel and the Royal Canadian Navy’s joint support ships at Vancouver Shipyards by enabling Seaspan to initiate early discussions with potential suppliers and purchase necessary material and equipment.
With the new contracts now in place, specialized parts such as propulsion systems, scientific equipment, generators and steel can be ordered prior to start of construction.
“Today is an exciting day for Seaspan and marks a major milestone for the National Shipbuilding Strategy as we continue to rewrite shipbuilding history in Canada,” Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter said. “This announcement is a strong reminder of the progress being made under the NSS. Its impact will continue to increase opportunities for Canadian companies and provide jobs for Canadians that flow from our delivery of vessels to the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.”
Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards says it has awarded $380 million in contracts to date to suppliers in Canada, and that over 160 Canadian companies have already benefited from the investments.
It is estimated that Seaspan’s National Shipbuilding Strategy work will create more than 2,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs annually and produce almost $290 million per year in Gross Domestic Product for Canada’s economy.