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Busy pace continues for B.C.’s shipyards

By BCShippingNews 31 July 2018
Busy pace continues for B.C.’s shipyards
BC Shipping News' annual review of shipyard activity in B.C.

Spirits are good in B.C.’s shipyard sector — not one yard reported a downturn in business this past year. Indeed, evaluations ranged from “steady” to “extremely busy.” Optimism for the coming year is equally positive with the only shadow coming from potential tariffs and trade wars that are causing some businesses to sit up and pay attention. And while most are finding the crew they need, there were more than a few yard owners and managers who lamented that it’s becoming more and more difficult getting skilled workers when you need them. The good news on that front is the many apprentices being hired at yards like Victoria Shipyards, Vancouver Shipyards, Point Hope and others.

Here’s how the industry made out...

ABD Enterprises

Partners Al Dawson and Burton Dody are busy finishing up the 105-foot aluminum fish packer for James Walkus Fishing Co. in Port Hardy. The Geemia Joye — sister ship to Amarissa Joye, designed by A.G. McIlwain and classed by Lloyd’s Register — was scheduled to be taken out of the shed on Friday, just shortly after an interview with Dawson. This is the 50th vessel over 50 feet  that ABD has built in its 30-year history.

Next on the list is a 70-foot catamaran for Victoria’s Prince of Whales Whale Watching which is already under construction. The Salish Sea Eclipse is based on an order from Prince of Whales’ founder Alan McGillivray. Gregory C. Marshall of Victoria, B.C. was the architect with Transport Canada inspecting. Its delivery date is scheduled for April 2019.

The 94-year-old Dawson reported that, overall, business was progressing along as usual. Employing up to 70 people at one time, he’s never had a problem finding good people in 30 years. “Six of us have been working together for 35 years.”

Allied Shipbuilders

Thanks to a steady stream of commercial work throughout 2017, this past year was a busy one for Chuck Ko at Allied Shipbuilders.  “We did major four-year refits on three large tugs — the DD Catherwood, Storm Bandit and Captain Cook,” Ko said, “but what really kept us busy from fall to now was the Laboratory Upgrade on the CCGS Vector and the mid-life refit of the CCGS John P. Tully.

Additional work in the yard has included the rebranding of two of Western Canada Marine Response Corporation barges to their signature blue, orange and white colours; collision repairs on the fishing vessel Ocean Achiever; and fire damage repairs on the fishing vessel Bold Performance, which turned out to be quite a major project,” he said. “What we thought was going to be a minor repair and clean up project in the engine room ended up becoming quite significant, requiring removal and overhaul of all the diesel machinery in the engine room.” 

Ko said that he expects the upcoming months to be a little bit slower than the previous year, but should be steady enough to maintain his core work force. 

In between jobs, Ko has been trying to finish the major refit started last year on the large drydock. “We’re about two-thirds done and just waiting for some downtime over the summer to finish tank painting” he said, adding that the smaller drydock will be undergoing similar work.

Arrow Marine

With yard activity increasing year over year, Arrow Marine continues to provide repairs and refits to fishing vessels, tugboats and barges plus a variety of other kinds of vessels including yachts, catamarans and charter vessels. One of the largest projects undertaken this year was the complete rebuild of a 45-year-old tugboat. The rebuild included upgrading the entire steering system and building a completely new house for the tugboat that is fully detachable for easy land transport.

Additional news from the yard included plans to build a brand new office in the coming year as well as upgrades to the yard. They have also added a fulltime, fully certified Safety Officer who is leading Arrow’s efforts to attaining their Certificate of Recognition (COR) from WorkSafeBC.

BC Ferries’ Fleet Maintenance Unit

Another refit season has flown by with many vessel maintenance and modification projects. David Sharpe, General Manager, Fleet Maintenance Unit for BC Ferries, reported that the season kicked off in September with a flurry of activity to prepare the Spirit of British Columbia for her long journey to Gdansk, Poland, to complete her mid-life upgrade (MLU) and conversion to dual-fuel LNG. This involved installing a bow wave break, crew accommodations and a pilot ladder for transiting the Panama Canal.

On September 12, 2017, along with members of the public, a fond farewell was made to the Queen of Nanaimo with a celebration of service to commemorate her 53 years of sailing the B.C. coast.

The fall brought a steady line up of refits and safety re-certifications which required all of FMU’s skilled trades — from mechanics, welders, and electricians to lifesaving and ship safety technicians to outfitting and paint, signage and coatings inspectors. First up were the Northern Adventure, Queen of New Westminster, and Queen of Alberni. Concurrently, FMU’s trades attended major dry docking refits for the Kwuna, Queen of Coquitlam and Quinsam on the Island and for a quick Queen of Cowichan docking in North Vancouver.

The new year ramped up quickly with the arrival of the Queen of Capilano for a five-week refit and the Spirit of Vancouver Island for re-certification. The Queen of Oak Bay docking and Queen of Surrey refit both included new and improved upper car deck pet areas. The Island Sky, Mayne Queen and Quadra Queen underwent major dry docking refits in the spring, as well as the Northern Expedition. The Salish Eagle, Salish Raven and Salish Orca underwent warranty and other maintenance work at the yard throughout the year. FMU’s tradespeople also attended the Coastal Renaissance, Coastal Celebration and Coastal Inspiration as each refitted remotely at dry dock and at BC Ferries’ terminals. In late spring, Sharpe and his team responded to an incident on the Queen of Cumberland to install a new davit and return her to service as soon as possible.

In May, Sharpe was pleased to report that the yard hosted a tour of the site for participants of the Green Marine GreenTech Conference held in Vancouver. To close the season, the Spirit of British Columbia was welcomed back to undo modifications made for her transatlantic journey. The Spirit of British Columbia returned to carrying passengers in early June, newly improved and more efficient. The vessel is now operating on natural gas, which reduces BC Ferries’ environmental footprint and fuel costs. As FMU’s hardworking and skilled tradespeople take some long-deserved down time, they are already looking forward to next year. It is anticipated to be similarly full with the Spirit of Vancouver Island’s MLU and 22 vessel refit projects.

Bracewell Marine Group

It’s been a good year for Lance Bracewell and the team at Bracewell Marine Group. “I’d say more than the previous year and we expect the coming year to be just as busy or busier,” he said during an interview for this month’s Industry Insight (see page 12).

With a number of boats filling the yard to capacity at present, Bracewell has projects at various stages on the go for the Pacific Mariner, the Revolution, the CT Titan and the Bellisima, to name just a few. Work ranges from sponson replacements, hull plating and new rubber for the CT Titan, to total refits for the Pacific Mariner and Marine Harvest’s Revolution. The Bellisima, in the yard for the past two years after sinking near Pender Harbour, was just about complete at the time of writing.

With access to Shelter Island’s 200mt travelift, Bracewell has been pushing hard to get Shelter Island’s President, Terry McPhail to invest in a 300mt travelift. “We would more than double our business,” he said.

Having recently ventured into the custom-build winch market which is seeing great interest from other yards and customers, Bracewell has also expanded his services to include shafts and bearings. Business on all three has been “growing significantly,” especially with better pricing, reduced lag times and ability to customize more easily with customers’ input right on the shop floor.

When asked about upcoming work, in addition to a number of vessels coming in for CSIs, there will be two years’ worth of work from gooey duck boats as well as potential conversions of West Coast fishing boats into squid boats for an American fishing company. Bracewell also noted he was actively working on getting at least one newbuild, “but that one has the customer holding off until certain government decisions are made.”

Daigle Welding

It’s been a very busy year for Steve and the team at Daigle Welding and Marine, more so than last year. The seemingly never-ending list of newbuilds at various stages of construction includes a 53-foot sport fishing cruiser, designed in-house and soon to be launched; two 43-foot landing craft destined for the Indian Government; two 12-passenger water taxis; and a 33 and 34-foot cruiser with work soon to start on a deluxe (“all the bells and whistles”) 34-foot sport fisher.

As if that weren’t enough, Daigle commented on a continual stream of repair work coming in all the time. “We’ve become specialists in repairs for boat owners who took shortcuts that didn’t work out so well,” he said, adding that another was coming in that evening by barge.

One issue that Daigle is watching closely is the tariffs and retaliatory measures as trade between Canada and the U.S. becomes strained. “We’ve already seen a 37-foot cruiser be put on hold until there’s some resolution,” he said. “Because of the aluminum tariff, Canada is imposing a tariff on recreational boats as of July 1. There is concern that the U.S. will reciprocate in kind which could seriously impact on our U.S. market.”

When asked about other trends, especially in the labour market, Daigle noted that, while he has very little turnover, finding skilled people is becoming more and more difficult, including aluminum welders, fabricators and riggers. “And if you do find the right person and they have to relocate to Campbell River, they have a difficult time finding a residence. Campbell River is experiencing a boom and even with new units being built, it’s still a challenge.”

Esquimalt Graving Dock

According to Stafford Bingham, Director, Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD), while the same number of vessels used the facility this year compared to last year, revenue increased over 50 per cent, thanks to larger tonnage ships staying for longer periods of time. The graving dock saw 21 dockings in the 2017/2108 fiscal year, including naval vessels HMCS Calgary, HMCS Chicoutimi and HMCS Vancouver; BC Ferries’ Powell River Queen, Queen of Coquitlam, Quinsam, Queen of Coquitlam, Northern Sea Wolf, Queen of Oak Bay and Salish Eagle; an assortment of fishing vessels, barges and even a cruise ship or two.

Upcoming dockings of note include more BC Ferries and Royal Canadian Navy vessels plus New Zealand Navy frigates HMNZS TE KAHA, and HMNZS TE MANA, the cruise ships Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess and vehicle carrier the MV Midnight Sun.

The Government of Canada-owned facility continues to undergo major infrastructure improvements. Bingham listed a number of key projects in various stages of progress. Essential for flooding and removing water from the drydock, the three main dewatering pumps have now been completely refurbished. Projects in progress include the replacement of the main (north) substation (“the 37-year-old high- and low-voltage transformers are nearing the end of their service life cycle,” Bingham reported); and refits for both of EGD’s caissons.

As per Joe O’Rourke’s update for Victoria Shipyards, reconstruction work on the South Jetty is progressing. The contract has been awarded to a joint venture between SPAL General Constructors and Fraser River Pile and Dredge, and completion is set for November 2019. The new jetty is to be constructed with 300 piles and 400 precast elements, and will feature large fenders, crane pads and higher load limits on the deck.

Also as per O’Rourke’s report, EGD is working with BC Hydro to construct and install a new high voltage transmission line from the Esquimalt Sub-station to the Esquimalt Graving Dock. This will result in a dedicated electrical supply for the facility that can be further upgraded in the future.

In addition to improvements to infrastructure, Bingham noted that a new 80-ton Grove rough-terrain rubber-tired crane had been purchased and a new steel-hulled workboat, being built by Ocean Pacific Marine, will be on site by summer 2018.

Meridian Marine

Meridian Marine Inc. (MMI) recently  signed representative agreements  with Remontowa Ship Building of Gdansk, Poland, the builders of the Salish Eagle, Raven and Orca, and Remontowa Shiprepair Yard that recently completed the mid-life upgrade and LNG/dual fuel conversion of the Spirit of British Columbia plus the upcoming MLU of the Spirit of Vancouver Island.

MMI will manage all Warranty Guaran-tee Claims for all five vessels and also partner any potential newbuilds and major conversions for local vessel owners.

“We have  also recently qualified our welders  for LNG and Cunifer pipe  welding through ABS Class requirements as we look to the future in regards to potential LNG conversion projects and being ready to execute these potential projects,” said Jim McFadden.

To help with the extra work, Meridian has enlisted the help of Peter Bant, new Project Manager who is also involved in quoting on new projects. Bant is already well known in the B.C. market through his work as a senior surveyor with DNV GL and prior, with the Canadian Coast Guard.

In addition to the warranty work, the Meridian team have been busy on various projects, including construction of a new ramp for the Northern Sea Wolf that is currently in at the Esquimalt Graving Dock. Teams are also working on other BC Ferries vessels such as the Queen of Capilano and the Queen of Oak Bay. And while noting that skilled labour has been “tough to find, especially shipwrights and pipe fitters,” Meridian has been managing to meet their current work demand.

Looking at the future, McFadden has his fingers crossed for a number of proposals and quotes issued over the last few weeks. “We’ve had a number of requests from vessel owners for quotes on barge conversions and new buildings,” said Bant, with McFadden adding that he is hopeful that discussions being held with B.C. shipyards through the Association of BC Marine Industries will result in local new building/partnering opportunities.

Ocean Pacific Marine

Bruce Kempling was pleased to report that Ocean Pacific Marine Store and Boatyard has been “extremely busy” over the past year — much busier than the year previous. In addition to building the steel-hulled work boat for Esquimalt Graving Dock that is about one month away from completion, major refits have been done on naval vessels and dive units from Comox and Esquimalt stations.

For the upcoming year, Kempling was forecasting another good year. The Tillicum was coming in for a refit at the time of writing and the pilotage vessel Pacific Chinook will follow for a bit of work — “replacing fenders and a few other small items.” Kempling remarked that the Mari-Tech conference provided a great overview of upcoming builds and felt there was a number of years’ worth of work off new vessels over and above the major builds for BC Ferries, Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Having added five more fulltime staff over the past year, Kempling now has a workforce of about 42 but noted, in keeping with comments from other yards, that finding skilled workers is difficult. “Welders, technicians, mechanics…in general, it is getting tough to fill the positions,” he said.

Kempling was pleased to report that Ocean Pacific had just become a Cummins Marine Dealer. To accommodate the extra work, a new set of docks is being added to existing infrastructure at the Campbell River facility.

Point Hope Maritime

Having increased the capacity of the yard in 2015/2016, General Manager Riccardo Regosa reported that Point Hope Maritime was keeping busy and sustaining the higher level of activity seen in 2017. “The mix of vessels is more or less even to last year,” he said. “We did a lot of work on the smaller naval vessels and also welcomed the first two BC Ferries’ vessels as part of our five-year supply agreement with them. We’re seeing more tugs, both local and American, and a growing number of fishing vessels and support vessels servicing the aquaculture industry,” he said, adding that work ranged from refits to inspections and maintenance.

Coming up, Regosa expects to be working on vessels from BC Ferries, a good mix of federal vessels, commercial and fishing vessels, and a steadily growing order intake from the U.S. Following the recent decision to go ahead with building the new pipeline and a recovering oil and gas industry, we may also see a growing number of tugs and support vessels that will assure safe transit of tankers to oil and gas terminals.

However, the big news for Point Hope continues to be the proposed new graving dock. “The approval process has been very positive to date with lots of support from the community,” Regosa reported. “Our development permit application to the City of Victoria passed unanimously. With that level of support, it sends a strong signal to the Provincial and Federal Governments that the dock will be a valuable and welcomed asset for the industry and for the region.” He and owners, the Ralmax Group, are optimistic that all permits and approvals will be in place by the end of the year.

On the topic of labour, Regosa noted that they had increased the number of staff and project management teams as they refine their work processes, not only to support the growth already seen but in anticipation of the larger volume of work that will come with the graving dock. “On the trades’ side, we’re adding to our strong team of skilled employees and have 15 apprentices in the shipyard,” he said. “We are committed to creating employment and training opportunities for our local First Nation communities and have introduced a dedicated program to increase the number of indigenous apprentices. I would also like to see more women in trades; there is a successful program on the East Coast that is attracting more women to the marine industry and it would be great to work on implementing a similar program here on the West Coast.”

To champion this new initiative, the Ralmax Group created the position of  an apprenticeship coach who works closely with Human Resources which oversees all of the Ralmax Group of companies. “It is a coordinating role meant to communicate opportunities to interested individuals and support them through their apprenticeships to ensure they have access to more training or assistance that will help to improve their success rate. And within the Ralmax Group, new apprentices can try out different trades, allowing them to find their niche.”

Point Hope is also working closely with Camosun College on a program for labourers. “They will not be skilled in a full trade when they complete the program but it provides the knowledge to be able to work in the maritime, fabrication and construction industry,” he said. “They are trained in the safety standards, working in confined spaces, fire watch, rigging, driving a forklift, etc. It’s a very broad program that adds to their skillset and creates an ‘on-ramp’ for additional training and career advancement.”

Sylte Shipyard

Still keeping to a schedule of one vessel per year, Annette Russman reported that their next tug for a local company should be in the water by the end of July. The A.G. McIwain-designed, 59-foot, 60-tonne, tug has two MTU 12V2000 engines, Twin Disc MGX 5321 DC tranmission, 1,000 hp and features a Bracewell winch and main shafts as well as an Osborne propellor. The hydraulics are from Hydra-mech and the electrical from Comar.

Next one on Sylte’s list is the exact same tug for Gemini Marine Services. Following delivery of that one in 2019, a new tug for Darryl Jones and Jones Marine Services will start. Russman reported that another local tug company has a hold on the space for a 2020 start.

With Manager Tom Warren still taking the lead in the yard, Russman noted that staffing hasn’t been a problem. Their small, experienced crew continue to meet — and exceed — the needs of tug owners.

Vancouver Drydock

Vice President and General Manager for Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock Paul Hebson reported steady business over the last five years and at full capacity for the last two or three years at least. “So far, we’ve done 17 dockings in the first five months of this year,” he said, further noting that another BC Ferries’ vessel would be coming in next.

Additional projects noted by Hebson included extensive work done on the American Seafoods Company’s Northern Eagle — in at the beginning of April until the end of May for a new gear box, shaft lines, new boilers and economizers plus a substantial amount of pipe work replacement.

Vancouver Drydock also had the ITB Revolution in to add new stern courses to change it over from a conventional barge to an articulated one in anticipation of the new ITB tugs being built on Annacis Island.

Hebson also noted that the National Shipbuilding Strategy that is keeping Vancouver Shipyards occupied has meant a 30 per cent boost in repair work over the past 12 months for the Drydock, keeping the 300-odd complement of staff busy. In speaking about labour, Hebson is looking to add more apprentices in the very near future.

Looking forward, Hebson expects the next two or three years will continue at the same level of activity. “We’re completely booked through to the end of 2019,” he said. “Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Regatta is expected to come here in 2019 and we’re looking hard at a refit for the Canadian Coast Guard’s Sir Wilfred Laurier at the end of this year as well as four U.S.-based fishing vessels which all require extensive work.”

And, in what Hebson describes as a growing part of the business, two more ships will be coming in for ballast water treatment installations (coming up in the last quarter 2018/first quarter 2019). This follows up on the drydock’s successful completion of their first extensive installation done last year.

With 70 per cent of their business coming from the U.S. consistently over the last two or three years, Hebson noted that the exchange rate has been “really helping” with keeping that business strong.

Vancouver Shipyards

The last year has been an exciting one at Vancouver Shipyards as progress continues on Seaspan’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) commitments.

One of the biggest milestones Seaspan celebrated in the last year was the launch of the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV). The launch took place on December 8, 2017, and was an exciting moment for Seaspan’s long-term strategic relationship with the Government of Canada. Since launching OFSV1, great progress has been made on OFSV2 and OFSV3.

OFSV2 is nearing structural completion and sits at approximately 65 per cent complete. Cable pull has been progressing well with the generators and the shore power transformers now having cables installed and terminations underway. Propulsion variable frequency drive cabling is underway and drop keel installation and all fitting trials were performed throughout the month of May.

All of the blocks for OFSV3 are now in process with grand blocking of 11 blocks underway. OFSV3 is sitting at approximately 40 per cent completion.

Aside from the progress being made on vessels built under Canada’s NSS, Vancouver Shipyards has had a steady flow of activity come through the yard. Several repair and maintenance projects have come and gone in the last few months — a combination of government and commercial vessels, including tugboats, barges, naval auxiliary vessels and some smaller Canadian Coast Guard vessels. Seaspan Marine tugboats the Seaspan Hawk and Seaspan Falcon visited the yard in March and April for refit work and basic maintenance.

Over the past year, Vancouver Shipyards has taken on approximately 100 white collar interns and has about 100 apprentices across Seaspan Shipyards. These are part of company efforts to ensure that the next generation of shipbuilders are prepared to meet the challenges of the industry.

As work continues on OFSV2 and OFSV3, Seaspan and the Government of Canada announced that construction will begin soon on the Joint Support Ships (JSS) for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). These ships will deliver fuel and other vital supplies to vessels at sea, offer medical and dental services, and provide facilities for helicopter and equipment repair. Start of construction allows Seaspan to ensure continuous work at Vancouver Shipyards and better support the operational needs of the RCN.

In all, work on JSS at peak production will support an estimated 1,000 well-paid, middle-class jobs at Vancouver Shipyards.

Additional news for the North Vancouver yard was the official opening of its new state-of-the-art office at the beginning of April. The office is located on the foot of Pemberton Avenue and is in close proximity to the previous offices at Vancouver Shipyards. The new 7,800-square-metre facility has space for 390 employees to work collaboratively and continue to deliver on Seaspan’s commitments to Canadians under the NSS.

Victoria Shipyards

“It’s a good time to be in the industry,” said Joe O’Rourke, Vice President and General Manager, Victoria Shipyards, referring not only to the brisk activity being seen at the yard but also the many jobs available. “We have 900 people on production trades and should hit 1,000 before the summer is out,” he said, further noting that Victoria Shipyards is heading for a record year in both revenue and labour hours.

Projects at the yard include a number of firsts — the first time a foreign-flagged naval vessel has been repaired in a Canadian shipyard since the Second World War; the first (“as far as we know”) LNG conversion done on a large vessel (over 850 feet) in North America; and soon, the first Canadian Coast Guard vessel delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Looking first at the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC-Class frigates project, O’Rourke and prime contractors Lockheed Martin welcomed HMNZS TE KAHA in March this year to start work on upgrading communication and combat systems. HMNZS TE MANA will follow in late winter/early spring 2019 for the same. The two jobs together will provide work for about 200 tradespeople per day for 22 months.

Next on the list of firsts are the conversions to LNG for the Orca-Class TOTE LNG vessels — the Midnight Sun and North Star. “We’ve broken the work into four phases,” O’Rourke said, “to be done over 60-day periods (from December to February) to match up to their slower time of the year. The Midnight Sun was done in the December-to-February 2018 timeframe and the North Star will be coming in during the December 2019 to February 2020 period having been delayed one year by TOTE.”

The first phase of work involves the “heavy production” — the removal of structures, new structures installed, positioning the LNG bottles, starting the piping system… “As much as we can get done in 60 days,” O’Rourke said. The ships return in 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 for final outfitting, installation of the systems and systems checking with the intention to have them operating with dual-fuel capacity when they leave. The project employs about 450 people on nine-week stretches.

O’Rourke and the entire Seaspan Shipyard team in both Victoria and Vancouver are looking forward to delivering the first (of three) Ocean Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) — the CCGS John Franklin — to the Canadian Coast Guard once the vessel has completed testing and trials. Launched in mid-December 2017 in North Vancouver by Vancouver Shipyards, the vessel is now at Victoria Shipyards for final outfitting and commissioning.

Not forgetting about Victoria Shipyards’ core business, contracts with the Royal Canadian Navy for work on submarines and frigates — accounting for half of the yard’s revenue — continue to employ over 600 tradespeople. “HMCS Corner Brook is in a period of high activity right now,” O’Rourke said of the submarine that is part of the Victoria In-service Support Contract with Babcock Canada. “It is scheduled for undocking in the first quarter of 2019 and will then go topside for a year to complete the work, do testing and commissioning before being returned to service.”

Continuing on with the post-Frigate Life-Extension Program maintenance contract, this year’s Halifax-Class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, is in for its five-year maintenance work. “The project runs from March 2018 to the first week in 2019 or earlier and includes replacement of the gensets, full removal of the paint, recoating, a huge amount of interior tank work (ballast, fuel, etc.) and a list of 2,000 other items,” O’Rourke said. The project employs about 400 people when at full complement.

Still, O’Rourke finds time to fit in cruise ships — the Norwegian Sun was in during the month of April; the Ruby Princess is coming in September; and about another 10 are being planned for work over the next five years; and fishing vessels — the next one being scheduled for December 2018. And, while U.S. business continues to be “very good,” O’Rourke did raise the issue of how the current steel and aluminum tariffs would impact this market, something that is being monitored very closely.

How a full-sized shipyard is managing with only one drydock and no South Jetty is a mystery even to O’Rourke. “We’re about 75 per cent complete on the upgrades to the electrical system,” he said about the infrastructure improvements currently underway. “About $25 million is being spent for new substations and other infrastructure so that we’ll have a fully modernized electrical side by 2019. In 2016, we took out the South Jetty which is about 1,000 feet of pier space. The old pier has been removed, remediation has been done and the new pier is being put in place so that it will return to service by November 2019.” To help with space, O’Rourke has been using Ogden Point in the off-cruise season from October to April.

Looking to the future, O’Rourke reported that the order book is “pretty solid for the next three to four years.” Despite that, he continues to market the yard’s services for the long term. “Both the LNG conversions and the foreign naval work hold great potential as you look further down the road. We couldn’t touch another opportunity right now but we hope we can do similar projects in the future. The prime contractors — Lockheed Martin, Babcock or Thales, seek out good, competent shipyards and we earn that reputation every day.”