By Mark Edward Nero
British Columbia-based Seaspan Shipyards said March 29 that it has begun construction on an Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OSFV) for the Canadian Coast Guard.
The vessel is the second ship built by Seaspan as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, a federal plan to renew the fleets of the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard via Canadian shipyards.
With production of the second OFSV now underway, significant progress continues on the first OFSV with 35 of 37 blocks currently under construction. The two Canadian Coast Guard ships are part of a three vessel, incentive-based build contract for the construction of three OFSVs, which are scheduled to be delivered under a ceiling price contract before the end of 2017.
Work on the third OFSV is set to begin later this year.
“Seaspan is now full-steam ahead on the production and delivery of its first two National Shipbuilding Strategy vessels, and we are re-writing shipbuilding history in Canada in the process for generations to come,” Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter said.
The cutting of steel on the second OFSV follows the March 14 announcement of two new contracts valued at over $65 million to help pave the way for future construction of the CCG’s Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) and the Royal Canadian Navy’s Joint Support Ships (JSS) at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards.
It’s estimated that Seaspan’s NSS work will create more than 2,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs annually, produce almost $290 million per year in gross domestic product for Canada’s economy, and provide thousands of people the opportunity for a shipbuilding career.