New Brunswick awards ferry contract to Groupe Océan

Groupe Océan is proud to announce that the government of New Brunswick awarded it a contract for the construction of a cable ferry. With a capacity of 15 cars and 100 passengers, this 25-metre ship will be added to the provincial fleet of ferries, and used on a high-volume run. She is expected to be launched next fall. The new vessel will be constructed at a cost of approximately $6.5 million.

This contract will strengthen the relaunch of the Naval Center in Bas Caraquet which was initiated in 2016/2017, and whose principal present activity is finalization of the construction of a floating drydock. Employment at the site has returned to pre-reorganization levels, and is expected to rise further. The Bas Caraquet facilities have increased Groupe Océan’s capabilities, and are helping to increase expertise in shipbuilding and ship repair in New Brunswick.

Jacques Tanguay, CEO of Groupe Océan said that “Since Groupe Océan established itself in Bas-Caraquet, we have worked to create high-quality jobs in the region and to develop the expertise capable of taking on contracts such as the one announced today. We are proud that this ferry will be built and used here in New Brunswick.”

Davie pushing Ottawa on icebreakers

By Mark Cardwell

The Chairman of the Europe-based company that owns the Davie shipyard continues to publicly push and prod Ottawa to accept his company’s proposal to supply Canada with four leased icebreakers that are currently sitting idle in Florida.

“Winter is coming,” Alex Vicefield told Canadian Sailings from his home in Monaco in late October. “Canada is facing an acute icebreaker shortage that is putting at risk the wintertime business at ports on the St. Lawrence River. “We have provided Ottawa with a quick and affordable solution to the problem.  We could have at least one of these vessels on station within two weeks, with the others to follow soon after.  But we’re not hearing anything.”

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Nova Scotia pulling together to train women and minorities for non-traditional careers in shipbuilding

By Tom Peters

Irving Shipbuilding’s Centre of Excellence (CEC), in partnership with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), private industry and other organizations, is bringing a new, diverse group of workers into its shipbuilding hall. In June of this year, 15 women, welders or metal fabricators, graduated from Nova Scotia Community College and were hired by Irving Shipbuilding. A second group of 20 women has completed the 14-week Women Unlimited Partnership program, in preparation for the two-year diploma trades program which begins in September.

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Project Resolve resolving a Canadian naval capability gap

K. Joseph Spears

Canada’s Navy was founded in 1910 and has a long and illustrious history through two world wars, the Cold War and into the 21st century, a century which has seen a war on terrorism and piracy. In a complex threat environment, navies have become increasingly important and relevant globally. Over time, Canada’s Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) pioneered a variety of naval capabilities including the use of large helicopters from small warships, in support of antisubmarine warfare. Canada’s RCN is an integral part of NATO and works closely with allied partners around the world in support of counterterrorism and force projection maintaining the security of global maritime shipping, which is the foundation of international commerce.

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Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime a good news story for B.C. shipyards

By R. Bruce Striegler

For an industry that was declared a “sunset industry” in the 1980’s, shipbuilding and ship repair in British Columbia is showing resilience. Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime is again fulfilling its historical role of surviving, and doing so in a resoundingly successful manner. Only on the job as General Manager of Point Hope Maritime for little over a year, Riccardo Regosa, brims with enthusiasm. The Dutch-born Regosa has plenty of reason for the optimism. In June of this year, Point Hope Maritime entered into an agreement with Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands to provide technical and warranty support for two new vessels Damen is building for BC Ferries, scheduled to go into service in 2020. In the same week, Point Hope Maritime signed a second contract with BC Ferries, this one a five-year supply agreement for dry-docking, maintenance, repair or refit requirements for eight of BC Ferries’ minor vessels in a scheduled 20 dockings per year. Regosa says, “This is all very exciting news and at Point Hope Maritime, we are all very pleased. We have the space, the expertise and the schedule to accommodate this work.”

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New life breathed into Thunder Bay Shipyard

Heddle Marine Service Inc. (Heddle) and Fabmar Metals Inc. (Fabmar) have formed a strategic partnership with the goal of restoring the historic Thunder Bay Shipyard to a position of prominence on the Great Lakes.

Fabmar has already successfully executed several projects at the shipyard, including the dry docking of a local tug named the tug George N Carlton in November 2016 for Gravel Lakes as well as a more recent dry docking of a local tug named the Miseford in June 2017 for Thunder Bay Tug.

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Two Damen ferries for BC Ferries

Following an extensive, multi-phased international tender process, Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries has awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract to construct two 81-metre ferries. The vessels are part of BC Ferries’ ongoing fleet renewal programme.

BC Ferries operates 24 ferry routes along the coast of British Columbia, Canada. The new vessels will be able to cover many of the company’s routes to the Northern and Southern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver. Part of a fleet renewal programme, the new ferries will replace the 59-year old North Island Princess and the 53-year old Quadra Queen II.

Damen initially submitted its vessel designs to BC Ferries in March 2016 in response to a Request for Expressions of Interest. After attracting interest from no less than 28 shipyards, the highly competitive tender process proceeded in October 2016 when short-listed companies – including five Canadian shipyards – were invited to submit their bids. Damen was selected as the subsequent winner of this tender process.

Both vessels will be constructed at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania and are expected to enter service in 2020. The 81-metre long design will have capacity to carry approximately 44 vehicles and up to 300 passengers and crew. Damen has an agreement with Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria, British Columbia to perform any warranty work locally on these vessels.

“This is a design-build, fixed-priced contract that provides BC Ferries with substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice-President of Engineering. “A key objective of BC Ferries’ fleet renewal program and the acquisition of these two minor class vessels is to achieve capital and operating cost savings and efficiencies through an overall class and standardization strategy.”

“We are extremely proud to be constructing these two ferries for British Columbia,” says Damen Leo Postma, Damen Sales Manager. “Furthermore, we are looking forward to further developing our existing relationship with BC Ferries by building safe, reliable high quality ferries contributing to BC Ferries’ vessel replacement program.”

Damen Shipyards Group operates 33 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000, and has delivered more than 6,000 vessels to customers in more than 100 countries. Based on its standardized ship-designs, Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.

Davie stays course on Project Resolve, icebreaker bid

By Mark Cardwell

Rubbish. That’s how the co-owner and Chairman of Davie Shipbuilding summarized a The Globe and Mail article that questioned the Canadian content of the novel navy supply ship being built at his company’s yard in Lévis, and the integrity of ownership and financing behind the project. “It tells a story that isn’t factual and that misrepresents the truth,” Alex Vicefield, also CEO of Davie parent company Inocea, told Canadian Sailings from his home in Monaco on May 1. “It has a whole lot of conspiracy theories and makes insinuations that are unproven and untrue.”

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Shipyards must look to niche markets as overcapacity shreds orderbooks

By Mike Wackett

A depressing picture of the global ship building industry was painted by executives at an international summit of major shipyards in South Korea in mid-October. The home nation’s top three – Hyundai Heavy Industries Co (HHI), Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries Co (SHI) – collectively lost Won8.5 trillion ($7.5 billion) in 2015 and are ramping up cost-cutting efforts as new orders fall well short of targets. And the country is bracing for mass redundancies and lay-offs in its shipbuilding sector as part of the tough restructuring at the yards.

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Davie hot to build federal icebreakers

by Mark Cardwell

Alex Vicefield says a light went on in his head when he heard that HMCS Protecteur was to be prematurely decommissioned following a serious engine fire in early 2014. The blaze left the Royal Canadian Navy without a seaworthy supply ship, since electrical problems had also scuppered Protecteur’s sistership HMCS Preserver, which was decommissioned recently.

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