The following is the text of a news release from Seaspan:
(NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia) (Nov. 6) — Today, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards officially celebrated the completion of its two-year, $170 million shipyard modernization project ahead of schedule and under budget.
Funded entirely by Seaspan, this project has transformed Vancouver Shipyards into the most modern facility in North America that will establish a shipbuilding and ship repair center of excellence on the West Coast, and allow for the effective and efficient delivery of non-combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.
“Today is a celebration for Seaspan, and words cannot express how proud I am of the incredible transformation of Vancouver Shipyards,” said Jonathan Whitworth, CEO, Seaspan. “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 (NSPS).”
The completion of Seaspan’s shipyard modernization project coincides with the commencement of construction on two initial blocks for the first NSPS ship, the Canadian Coast Guard’s offshore fisheries science vessel (OFSV), slated for completion by the summer of 2016.
“Today’s ceremony exemplifies Seaspan’s commitment to prepare its shipyard and its people to build ships for the government of Canada,” said Brian Carter, president, Seaspan Shipyards. “With our new facilities now complete and operational, including Canada’s largest permanent gantry crane, four new fabrication buildings and a new load-out pier, we have begun our work for the Canadian Coast Guard on the initial blocks of the first offshore fisheries science vessel (OFSV). 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.”
During the shipyard modernization project, 25 percent of the construction work in our shipyard was performed by First Nations joint venture companies. Once full production on the new vessels commences in the spring of 2015, Seaspan will also create stable work over the next decade for suppliers throughout B.C. and across Canada.
In addition, Seaspan has invested an additional $15 million to upgrade facilities at Victoria Shipyards, including a new operational center, to support testing, trials and commissioning of the new federal vessels, work that will be complete by the end of December 2014.