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B.C. Shipyards: On the precipice of historic highs? - Subscriber Access Only

By BCShippingNews 01 July 2015

The $170-million modernization work by Seaspan at Vancouver Shipyards is complete and the West Coast is ready for a start to the $7.3-billion, 17-vessel non-combat contract under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

In fact, preliminary development work has already begun at the shipyard in North Vancouver with the completion of two initial blocks of the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels being built for the Canadian Coast Guard. Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth says full construction will begin in June.

Photo above: Arrow Marine (photo by Dave Roels - www.daveroels.com)

With Seaspan now focused on the NSPS will B.C.’s other shipyards see growth as a result? Most shipyards in B.C. have a positive view of the NSPS work to be done by Seaspan and hope for some “trickle-down” opportunities. Not all is calm, however, as one B.C. shipyard manager calls NSPS “the biggest scam the Canadian Government ever perpetuated on the Canadian taxpayer” and wonders how Seaspan is going to share the work.

But easily, the majority of shipyard owners in the province echo the view of Bruce Kempling, Owner & President of Ocean Pacific Marine Boatyard in Campbell River, who is convinced there’ll be an NSPS trickle-down effect once the program gets going in earnest and adds: “I have nothing but good things to say about that program as Ottawa is doing exactly what they said they would do.”

Here’s our annual snapshot of how the B.C. shipbuilding and repair industry fared in the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.

Victoria Shipyards