Davie to become Canada’s third National Shipbuilding Strategy strategic partner

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Davie is Canada’s largest and highest capacity shipbuilder

The Government of Canada today announced that Quebec shipbuilder Davie has pre-qualified to become the third strategic partner under the country’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. The NSS’s third yard will build six program icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Davie has demonstrated that it meets initial requirements related to experience, capability and capacity, as defined in an Invitation to Qualify issued on August 2, 2019.

Chantier Davie will now move to the next stage in the selection process, the Request for Proposal and evaluation stage. This will include a third-party assessment of the shipyard’s infrastructure, submission of a formal proposal, and a due diligence process to ensure the shipyard is financially capable of performing the work and making any necessary upgrades to its infrastructure.

This assessment is similar to the process previously undertaken in 2011 to select Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Seaspan Shipyards as strategic partners under the NSS. Once this phase is completed, the Government of Canada will begin negotiations for an umbrella agreement, which is expected to be put in place in late 2020.

Davie is Canada’s largest and highest capacity shipbuilder but was disqualified from the 2011 process because at that time it was going through a financial restructuring.

Alex Vicefield, Chairman of Davie Shipbuilding commented, “Today’s historic announcement marks the beginning of a multi-generational program which will span the next three decades and sustain Davie’s position as a global leader in the delivery of specialist, mission-critical ships.”

“As the Arctic becomes of increasing global importance,” continued Vicefield, “creating a center of excellence for the construction of icebreakers – a highly exportable product – will be of significant economic benefit to the Canadian economy in the years to come. We thank the Prime Minister and his government for delivering on their commitment to refresh the shipbuilding strategy and confirming Davie as a key strategic partner.”

James Davies, President and CEO of Davie Shipbuilding added, “We have spent the past decade creating a cutting-edge shipbuilder that has delivered some of the most complex ships ever built in North America. Heading into the next decade as a partner in the National Shipbuilding Strategy means we will be leveraging those skills and experience and applying our unique capacity and infrastructure to renew the federal fleet in a cost-effective and timely manner.”

He added that the icebreaker program “will be the single largest shipbuilding program in Quebec since World War II and will ensure the continuity of employment at Davie as well as the development of Quebec’s maritime cluster, a major driver for the province’s economy. We now look forward to getting the over 1,000 workers who were laid off in 2017 back to work as soon as possible.”

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