NSS represents a unique opportunity for Seaspan to develop and grow a world-class shipbuilding and ship repair capability on Canada’s west coast, supported by an indigenous Canadian marine industry.
The NSPS is a program that has been tasked with meeting the Federal fleet renewal needs for both the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). The program involves four Government departments: Department of National Defence, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Industry Canada (IC) and Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).
The NSS establishes the requirement for over 50 large ships of greater than 1000 tonnes to be constructed over the next 30 years. In addition, 70 smaller ships of less than 1000 tonnes are tagged for renewal. An analysis of the 50+ large ships indicates that the labour demand over the time period is approximately 70 million person hours. Load leveling the demand indicates the large ship program would support direct employment of 1200 to 1500 shipyard workers for 30 years.
It is anticipated that the small ship program, which does not have the same infrastructure requirements, will be allocated to small and medium sized shipyards. Additional demand will be generated through the in-service-support contracts for both the large and small vessels. In order to address previous maritime procurement challenges, the Government has identified that there will be a shift from the current competitive process to the development of a long-term relationships with selected shipbuilders. The Federal Government has identified a need to have Centers of Excellence to meet the new build demands of the larger vessels.
Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards was selected under the NSS RFP process to be Canada’s long-term partner for the building of Non-Combat vessels.
Impact of the NSS
The NSS, with the Non-Combat program, will provide steady work for a period of up to 30 years. A steady workload for that period of time would allow for:
- The creation of more than 5000 direct, indirect and induced jobs for the projects’ at their peak.
- Long term Investment – Further development of leading edge naval design, ship and combat systems technologies in Canada.
- Strengthen training and educational partnerships with Colleges and Universities through a sustained shipbuilding program.
New build programs allow for a unique opportunity to hire apprentices and provide long-term training. New build programs also provide both steady and consistent workloads over an extended period of time. This allows apprentices to complete their studies with the knowledge that there is continuity of work to return to. This is not the case with ship repair, where demand is week-to-week or even day-to-day.
- Ability to Attract Skilled Professionals & Create an Industry-leading shipbuilding capability on the West Coast able to compete globally.
Ships are complex structures that require a high level of skill and knowledge to ensure a quality product is manufactured. These skills and knowledge are very specialized and gained over time. They require steady employment to attract top professionals in these fields. The previous boom and bust cycles did not allow for steady employment and thus did not provide stability to attract these employees. The NSPS allows for stability in the industry to foster the development of the next generation of this sought after skill set.