OCTOBER 19, 2012 — A groundbreaking ceremony today at Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards, in North Vancouver marks a significant milestone in redevelopment of the shipyard into a world-class facility that will build a new generation of vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.
Construction will result in the completion of four new fabrication buildings, a shipbuilding gantry crane and a load-out pier. Seaspan will invest approximately $200 million into the yard to efficiently build the new non-combat ships awarded to Vancouver Shipyards through Canada's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) program.
The initial vessels included in the non-combat program are three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels, one Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel, one Polar Icebreaker and two Joint Support Ships.
Seaspan will also spend additional money to upgrade facilities at its Victoria Shipyards including a new building to support the commissioning and trials of the new ships.
"Today is an exciting day for Seaspan and for our 2400 employees," said Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth. "The beginning of construction at our shipyard marks the rebirth of a once thriving shipbuilding business on the B.C. Coast. Not only are we building a world-class shipyard in North Vancouver, we're looking forward to revitalizing the ship construction business and to training and growing our workforce by an additional 1000 employees over the next three years. We are committed to completing the facilities upgrades as proposed in our original NSPS bid by 2015."
The NSPS program will create stable work over the next decade for shipbuilders on the North Shore and suppliers throughout BC and across the Canada. It is estimated this work will create 4000 direct, indirect and induced jobs throughout the life of the build program.
"I am pleased to be a witness to today's event as it is a testament to Seaspan's confidence in themselves, their future, and their workforce." said the Honorable Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. "This major investment in these assets will definitely help to make Vancouver Shipyards a world-class shipbuilding center of excellence".
"Shipbuilding in British Columbia is on a roll," said Premier Christy Clark. "Our government is proud of our partnership with Seaspan and we're confident the thousands of jobs they're currently creating will continue for future generations. This re-development demonstrates B.C.'s world-class shipbuilding expertise and is another sign of how British Columbia is a safe harbour for investment."