North Vancouver-based Seaspan Shipyards says the Canadian Coast Guard has decided to spend an additional $5.2 billion on the construction of even more ships under Canada’s historic military shipbuilding program, the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) program.
Under the program, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards was selected as the prime contractor in the construction of seven new Non-Combat vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard worth an estimated $8 billion. Originally, the program called for the construction of two Joint Support Ships, a Polar Icebreaker, three Offshore Fisheries Science vessels and one Offshore Oceanagraphic Science Vessel. Now the number of ships to be constructed will grow even more.
“The award of additional Coast Guard vessels not only shows the Government of Canada’s unwavering commitment to the Canadian shipbuilding industry, but also their commitment to Vancouver Shipyards as the winner of the NSPS Non- Combat package,” said Seaspan’s Jonathan Whitworth, CEO. “We are also pleased that the additional Coast Guard vessels create and sustain a significant number of additional jobs and careers in Vancouver and Victoria. Thanks also in part to the NSPS requirement for Seaspan to invest in new technology, industrial and human resource development in the West Coast shipbuilding and ship repair industry, Seaspan’s investment commitment will now grow to over $50M.”
According to Seaspan Shipyards, the first vessel to be built under the program will be the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel and the timing and sequence of the recently announced vessels is yet to be determined.
“Planning, hiring and the modernization of our shipyards has already commenced,” said Jonathan. “We look forward to beginning construction on the first vessel under the Federal Non-Combat program in 2013.”
In total, Seaspan Shipyards is spending up to $200 million in facilities upgrades at its Vancouver and Victoria shipyards in order to fulfill the government contracts.