Vancouver Shipyards cuts steel for first NSPS ship

Written by Nick Blenkey
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L to R: Kyle Washington - Seaspan Executive Chairman, Andrew Saxton – MP North Vancouver, Brian Carter – President, Seaspan Shipyards, Minister Diane Finley – Public Works & Government Services Canada, John Weston – MP West Vancouver/Sunshine Coast/Sea to Sky and Jonathan Whitworth, Seaspan CEO

JUNE 25, 2015 — Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards has started construction on the first ship being built under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), the Canadian Coast Guard Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV).

On hand for the ceremonial steel cutting were Diane Finley, Canada’s Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Members of Parliament Andrew Saxton and John Weston.

It was also announced that the first ship will be named CCGS Sir John Franklin in honor of the Arctic explorer whose expeditions, nearly 200 years ago, laid the foundations of Canada’s claims of Arctic sovereignty.

The steel-cutting event follows the recent award of an incentive-based build contract to Vancouver Shipyards for the construction of three OFSVs, which will be delivered together under a ceiling price of $514 million before the end of 2017. Following the completion of the OFSVs, Seaspan will then build one Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV), two Joint Support Ships (JSS), one Polar Icebreaker (PIB) as well as up to five Medium Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessels (MEMTVs) and up to five Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), with more opportunities to follow in the future. 

“Seaspan is changing the course of shipbuilding history on the west coast of Canada, and today’s ceremony marks the most significant milestone yet for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS),” said Brian Carter, President, Seaspan Shipyards. “Today is day one of many years to come of planned ship production at Vancouver Shipyards for the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy. This is thanks to NSPS and we are grateful that federal Minister Finley is here to celebrate with us the official start of our first vessel, the OFSV.” 

To date, Seaspan has signed over 200 contracts with 137 companies in Canada, with half of their value going to small and medium-sized businesses. 

It is estimated that Seaspan’s NSPS work will create 5,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs over the next 20 years and produce almost $500 million per year in GDP for B.C.’s economy

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