Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards takes next step on Joint Support Ship; cuts steel on third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel

By BCShippingNews
March 1 2017
Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards takes next step on Joint Support Ship; cuts steel on third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel
Federal Ministers and MPs on hand for double announcement...

Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards celebrated two more milestones on Tuesday, February 28, 2017: The first, an announcement of the Government of Canada's $230-million contract to develop and finalize the design of the Royal Canadian Navy's Joint Support Ship (JSS); and second, to cut steel on the third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV). 

On hand to announce the Government's continued commitment to renew the RCN fleet, the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement; the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence; and the Honourabe Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice each spoke of the importance of ensuring Canada's men and women in uniform would have the equipment they need to carry out their work. Other members of Parliament present to celebrate the announcement included Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver), Terry Beech (Burnaby North-Seymour and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard), John Aldag (Cloverdale - Langley City), Ron McKinnon (Coquitlam - Port Coquitlam), and Ken Hardie (Fleetwood - Port Kells).

Photo above: Ministers join Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter to cut the first steel of the third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel. (Photo courtesy Seaspan).

Starting with the $230-million contract, Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter noted that "Today's announcement is an important step towards bringing the JSS to life. The impacts of the design, engineering and planning efforts will be felt for years to come at Seaspan. The National Shipbuilding Strategy has enabled us to continue our growth as a West Coast centre of excellence in shipbuilding and ship repair, with all the benefits that come along with it."

Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards is completing the Initial Design Review of the proven, off-the-shelf ship design from ThyssenKurpp Marine Systems Canada. In December 2015, the shipyard was awarded the Long Lead Items contract to engage suppliers and select the equipment, including the propulsion systems and generators needed to finalize the design and build the JSS.

As a next step to bring the design to production readiness, the JSS Design and Production Engineering (D&PE) contract -- valued at $230 million -- will incorporate state-of-the-art Canadian capabilities and ensure the continued development of the design, technical and procurement specifications associated with the JSS project. This includes the development and finalization of the ship build plan (including the test, trial and build strategy), the required manufacturing content, and the finalization of the 3-D product model. At the conclusion of the JSS D&PE contract, the JSS design will be ready for production and construction.

The JSS project will build two ships with an option for a third. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in 2021. The second ship is expected to be delivered in 2022.

"In 2016 alone, Seaspan awarded NSS contracts worth close to $200 million to 383 Canadian companies," said Minister Foote. "Ninety-four per cent of those companies were small and medium-sized enterprises." The Minister also recounted her meeting with Camosun College students the day prior, noting that 80 grads were already working at Seaspan and another dozen employees were currently going through the program.

Minister Sajjan said that the contract represented the Government's continued commitment to three main goals: to renew the Canadian Government's fleet; to reclaim Canada's status aas a shipbuilding nation; and to support technological innovation.

Following the official announcement, the group walked over to cut steel on the third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel. In terms of timing, Brian Carter noted that the last grand block of the first OFSV was being erected and work would soon begin on outfitting the interior of the vessel which should be ready later this year for delivery. The second OFSV is expected to be delivered in 2018 with the third vessel to follow later in 2018.