September 28, 2023
While the weather in BC may be beginning to cool down as we head into the fall season, the team at Seaspan Shipyards is maintaining its sizzling pace of ships being built, repaired, and modernized.
At Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards, we have been executing a continuous improvement plan to improve efficiency, quality and increased capacity and throughput. These efficiencies can be seen most broadly on Joint Support Ship (JSS)2, where good progress is being made by incorporating lessons learned from JSS1 and is benefitting from high levels of design maturity. Block assembly, outfitting, and grandblocking are all underway and progressing well. On JSS1, pipe and cable installation continue to increase, and hull painting has commenced, as we prepare the vessel for launch in 2024. The vessel’s final major block installation, both RAS kingposts, was completed in September.
The OOSV is also seeing efficiencies which are being realized because of Seaspan’s technological investments combined with a more experienced workforce. As it currently stands, the vessel is now over 60% complete following a number of major block installations this summer. We are also preparing this vessel for launch in 2024.
Construction continues on our Polar Icebreaker prototype block, where lessons learned will be incorporated when we begin full rate construction in 2025. Progress on basic design of the Multi-Purpose Vessels (MPV)s continues to track well.
At Vancouver Drydock, it was a busy end to summer. We had our typical array of different barges, both large and small, in for prep and paint work, including Alaska Marine Line’s Kamakani, CenterLine’s Dugan Pearsall, Orion Marine’s Rainier and Kiewit’s DB Columbia and DB Patrick in for small steel repairs as well.
We also had a pair of ‘siblings’ come to Vancouver Drydock over the last few months. We hosted Edison Chouest’s Contender and Challenger tugs in July and August for mechanical work, and the Burrard Pacific Breeze and Burrard Chinook Seabus for maintenance and paint. Finishing up work on a project which began at our Victoria Shipyards earlier in the year, the CSL Tecumseh bulk carrier was on the Panamax from mid July into August for shaft and stern tube work and a full blast and paint. And between August 17-28, we had the Star Breeze cruise ship alongside for assistance in mechanical work.
At Victoria Shipyards, the return of large cruise ships to our drydock continued, with the arrival of the Disney Wonder in late September. On the VISSC program, HMCS Victoria’s Extended Docking Work Period is underway and the team here at Victoria Shipyards is completing the removal of all the equipment off the submarine and supporting the survey team in the completion of this important work. Victoria is scheduled to be returned to the Navy in 2027. HMCS Calgary also started a work period in early 2023 with a scheduled completion date of May 2024. As the fleet ages beyond the anticipated life expectancy of the vessels, all the frigates, both west and east coast, are experiencing corrosion both in the hull and on the interior of the vessels. As a result of work required because of the vessel’s age, we will be docking the vessel several times during the work period, the first of which is now complete, from March 29 – Sept 13. After a fast-paced and quick docking of the Disney Wonder, HMCS Calgary will go back into dock in early October to continue further under water hull work, with an undocking in early December. Aside from the steel work, we continue to complete a series of preventative maintenance activities and upgrade various systems throughout the work period.