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Busy is the byword for B.C. shipbuilding and repair industry - Subscriber Access Only

By BCShippingNews 04 July 2016

While shipyards in South Korea and China reportedly are in decline, it’s hard to find anything but optimism among the B.C. shipyard and repair industry, which overall, is as busy as it can hope to be. Well, almost.

Apart from pleasure yachts and the occasional tug boat, water taxi, or barge, there’s little in the new build sector outside the industry-boosting National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) work being done now by Seaspan with its three major facilities.

But there’s still many a hungry smaller yard awaiting the trickle-down effect of the major work being done by Seaspan. Some yards have full plates through the summer at least, while others admit they are looking for more work.

Photo above: The Meridian Marine team stands proudly on the recently completed WWTurbine 1, the first floating tidal energy vessel of its kind (photo credit: Dave Roels). Click here for more photos of B.C.'s shipyards.

And despite the low Canadian dollar, the welcome impact of big savings for U.S. customers has been tempered somewhat on the pleasure craft side of the industry by a reluctance of some Canadians to spend dollars when their economy is seen as moribund at best.

Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth says all three divisions — Victoria Shipyards, Vancouver Shipyards, and Vancouver Drydock — had a busy year in 2015 and, while “not knocking it out of the park,” each did well. He is especially pleased that last year, Seaspan had the best safety record in its 130-year history.