Seaspan Delivers First Large Vessel Built Under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy

CCGS Sir John Franklin
CCGS Sir John Franklin. Photo Credit: Anne Marie Sorvin

British Columbia-based Seaspan Shipyards has delivered the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV), the CCGS Sir John Franklin, to the Canadian Coast Guard.

The CCGS Sir John Franklin is the first large vessel to be built and delivered to the Government of Canada under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is a CAD$35 billion shipbuilding project launched by the Canadian Government in October 2011

An official handover ceremony took place aboard the vessel on Thursday attended by the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, senior officials from the Coast Guard, Seaspan and its supply chain partners.

Designed and built by Seaspan, the 63.4-meter OFSVs are specifically designed to meet the needs of the Canadian Coast Guard and scientists, with a variety of systems including high-tech fishing trawls, laboratories and a deployable drop keel. The vessels will serve as a platform for Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists to monitor the health of fish stocks, better understand the impacts of climate change and support oceans research.

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Seaspan has been able to significantly expand its workforce to over 2,300 people across its yards in North Vancouver and Victoria. It has also invested over $200 million in shipyard upgrades and issued over $935 million in contracts to approximately 630 Canadian companies, including over $405 million in contracts awarded to 472 BC-based companies.

Seaspan also recently celebrated the launch of OFSV 2, the future CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier on June 5. OFSV 2 is currently undergoing systems commissioning in advance of the commencement of sea trials this fall. OFSV 3, the future CCGS John Cabot, will be structurally complete by the end of summer 2019.

In addition to the OFSVs, Seaspan is also currently working on a third OFSV in early construction, a Joint Support Ship for the Royal Canadian Navy, and an Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) currently in the design
and engineering phase.

“Seaspan Shipyards is proud to celebrate the delivery and acceptance of the first vessel designed and built under the NSS,” said Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer at Seaspan Shipyards. “This remarkable achievement is the result of the hard work and dedication of hundreds of talented Seaspan employees and supply chain partners from across Canada. When you build ships, you build more than ships. We are building an industry, we are building careers and we are building a vital sovereign capability to design, construct and sustain state-of-the-art vessels that fully meet the operational requirements of the women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.”