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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Davie sticks with Aubut for STQ talks

By Mark Cardwell

Alex Vicefield says he’s aware of the spectacular fall from public grace of Marcel Aubut, who stepped down last fall as President of the Canadian Olympic Committee amid numerous allegations of sexual and personal harassment of staff members. But Vicefield, who is CEO of Davie Canada’s parent company, Inocea Group, says the shamed Quebec City lawyer remains the right person to represent the shipyard in its contract dispute with the Quebec government over the construction costs of two high-tech ferries. “Marcel hasn’t been charged with any crimes,” Vicefield told Canadian Sailings from his home office in Monaco in late August. “The key thing for us is that he is a good communicator and he still receives a good reception from key government people.”

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Fednav welcomes new ship featuring innovative ballast system at Port of Indiana

Fednav Limited, the largest international bulk shipowner in Canada, welcomed Federal Caribou to Burns Harbor, one of seven new oceangoing lakers equipped with a ballast water treatment system—a first for the Great Lakes. This vessel protects the Lakes by treating its ballast water twice: by conducting an exchange in the North Atlantic, and through filtration and a chlorine disinfection treatment on the ship.

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Seaspan sells youngest ever container vessel for scrap as idle fleet nears 1 million-TEU mark

By Mike Wackett

The idled fleet of containerships is set to grow rapidly in the coming weeks as owners decide to park redundant ships after their time charters expire, rather than scratch around for employment on a hugely depressed spot market.

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Ship scrapping accelerates ahead of Panama Canal re-opening, and victims get younger

By Mike Wackett

The number of container vessels sent to breakers’ yards so far this year will shortly eclipse the total demolished in 2015 – in terms of TEU capacity, 2016 is already way ahead. According to the latest data from shipbroker Braemar ACM, the year-to-date figure is 72 vessels, 243,000 TEUs, compared with 85 vessels for 187,500 TEUs in the whole of last year.

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Charting Canada’s waters: Government of Canada to build seven new hydrographic survey vessels

Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the winning bid for the procurement of seven new survey vessels for the Canadian Hydrographic Service to support the seabed surveying and charting of Canada’s navigable waters. The contract has been awarded to Kanter Marine Inc. of St. Thomas, Ontario.

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