Seaspan Shipyards Q4 Update: Cross Country Impact

December 21, 2023

From cruise ships, to naval vessels to barges, there was no shortage of updates from Seaspan’s three shipyards over the final quarter of 2023.

The most noteworthy?

A recently-released socio-economic impact report from Deloitte Canada has found that under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Seaspan Shipyards has contributed more than $5.7 billion to Canada’s GDP through shipbuilding and repair/refit activities, and will contribute an additional $20.7 billion to Canada’s GDP through 2035. Stellar numbers which highlight the significant benefits of rebuilding Canada’s shipbuilding industry, from coast to coast.

As we prepare for a new year that will no doubt come with its own exciting projects and milestones, let’s first take a quick look back on what we’ve been up to over the past few months in North Vancouver and Victoria.

Vancouver Drydock  

It was an exciting end to the year over at the Vancouver Drydock – with several large repair projects completed or currently underway. To start off a busy quarter, the team completed blast and paint work and installed a new ballast water treatment system onboard the ATB 65-10 barge and the Vision tug, an articulated tug and barge that stopped by the drydock between from Sept 9 to Oct 6. Other visitors to the drydock this season included BC Ferries’ Queen of Cowichan, which stopped by for blast and paint, steel repairs and mechanical work between Nov 9 and Dec 10.  

We also welcomed two Canadian Coast Guard vessels – CCGS Sir John Franklin (built at Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards) from Oct 26 to Dec 2, and CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier which is currently docked for an extensive refit project that is expected to be complete in April of next year and will include replacement of three 42-tonne engines as well as repair, blast, and paint work. 

Looking ahead to 2024, the team will be focused on the recently approved drydock expansion project – a planned investment in infrastructure that will help the drydock better serve our customers in the Pacific Northwest.  

Victoria Shipyards

Despite the cooler temperatures, it’s always cruise season in Victoria.

Victoria Shipyards recently played host to two large cruise ships, the Disney Wonder and the Carnival Panorama, which arrived in late November to have its funnel removed, and then returned to have it re-attached. The 1,055-foot-long ship had been booked into a shipyard in Portland, Oregon, for repairs but it was too high to sail under one of the bridges on the way. Instead, the ship was rerouted briefly to Victoria, where we removed its funnel to lower its overall height. It then returned to Victoria in December to have the funnel put back on.

Work continues on the Navy’s HMCS Calgary under the Halifax-Class Work Period (HCWP), with the vessel undocking on the 20th following the completion of steelwork on the underwater hull. The vessel is now located on the south jetty, with structural work continuing on January 2, 2024. On the VISSC program, HMCS Victoria’s Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP) is underway and the team here at Victoria Shipyards has largely completed removals and most of the surveys. In early 2024, HMCS Victoria will begin the heavy production phase of the EDWP as planned.

Vancouver Shipyards

Vancouver Shipyards is currently working on five vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, four of which are first-in-class.

On the first Joint Support Ship, the future HMCS Protecteur, work continues to prepare the vessel for launch in late 2024. Installation of both of the ship’s kingposts, key to the ship’s Replenishment at Sea (RAS) capability was completed last quarter, marking the ship’s last major structural block installation. Focus now has shifted internally, with more than 40% of cable and more than 65% of spools installed. On JSS2, the future HMCS Preserver, we were pleased to hold the ship’s keel laying ceremony in October.  To celebrate the occasion, we welcomed members of the Royal Canadian Navy, including Rear-Admiral Steve Waddell, Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Sea Cadets from 354 RCSCC Invincible – and we hosted the Naden Band in our shipyard for the first time; local and federal stakeholders including Minister Jonathan Wilkinson; members of the Squamish Nation; and thousands of our employees based here in North Vancouver. The keel laying signifies the next phase of the ship’s construction. Block construction and grand-blocking continues at a steady rate, and the ship’s Bulbous Bow will be delivered to Vancouver Shipyards in early 2024.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s future Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel reached full consolidation in November, an exciting accomplishment which was celebrated at the shipyard by the Honourable Jean-Yves  Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

Work on the Polar Icebreaker prototype block will be complete in January 2024, with lessons learned preparing Seaspan to work with the thick, specialized steel once we begin full rate construction on the vessel in late 2024/early 2025, with delivery in 2030. Work continues on engineering and design of the vessel; Seaspan recently signed a contract with Genoa Design of Newfoundland which will see Genoa provide 3D modeling and design technology services for the program.

More news will be forthcoming in January regarding progress on the MPV program.

Happy New Year everyone!