• ABCMI Admin posted an article
    Coast Guard planning to use ‘interim’ icebreakers from Davie for decades see more

    The Canadian Coast Guard says three “interim” icebreakers that were recently purchased without a competition will be used for the next 15 to 20 years.

    Coast guard officials revealed the timeframe in interviews with The Canadian Press while playing down concerns about the state of their aging fleet — and the challenges in building replacements.

    The government in August agreed to sole-sourcing the purchase of three used icebreakers from Davie Shipbuilding for $610 million, saying a stop-gap was needed until replacements could be built.

    The deal represented a win for the Quebec-based shipyard, which had been lobbying hard for additional federal work, and should ease pressure on the coast guard’s icebreaking fleet.

    The coast guard’s existing vessels are on average more than 35 years old and have lost hundreds of operational days over the past few years due to mechanical breakdowns.

    Yet there are no immediate plans to replace them; the government’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan includes only one new heavy icebreaker, which won’t be ready until the next decade.

    Deputy Commissioner Andy Smith, who is overseeing the shipbuilding plan for the coast guard, said the service is instead in the midst of extending the life of its current fleet another 20 years — during which it will rely on the Davie ships to fill any gaps.

    “The icebreakers that we recently purchased were envisioned to backfill behind those various ships as we put them into a refit or an extended maintenance period,” Smith said in an interview.

    “And we have mapped that out over 20 years.”

    Deputy Commissioner Mario Pelletier, who is responsible for coast guard operations, confirmed that time period in a separate interview, saying: “I would expect that we’re going to have them for 15, 20 years.

    “The urgent need is just to make sure we do have a surge capacity to backfill when those ships come out of service,” he added.

    While few would argue the need for additional icebreakers, the timeline has nevertheless resulted in fresh criticism of the country’s procurement system — and questions about the shipbuilding plan.

    The federal government previously purchased “interim” icebreakers in the 1980s and those vessels are still in use, said Rob Huebert, an expert on the Arctic at the University of Calgary.

    That, plus the absence of any real plan to replace the majority of the coast guard’s icebreakers, leads Huebert to believe the three Davie ships will eventually become part of the permanent fleet.

    “What’s going to happen is we have been overworking our three medium icebreakers and those three (Davie ships) will replace them even though no one is saying they’re replacing them,” he said.

    The two Canadian Coast Guard officials both insisted that the Davie deal would not undercut the shipbuilding plan, through which Vancouver Shipyards is building several coast guard ships.

    Those include three fisheries-science ships, an ocean-science vessel and a heavy icebreaker, in that order. Two naval support ships will be built between the ocean-science vessel and the icebreaker.

    But defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute wondered whether calling the Davie deal an “interim” measure was intended to sidestep the plan — and any legal trouble.

    Either way, he said, the arrangement only underscores many of the enduring issues facing Canada’s troubled procurement system and the long amount of time it takes to buy new equipment.

    “If they’re defining an interim period being up to 20 years, only in Canada is that considered an interim basis,” he said, noting that the shipbuilding plan is already years behind schedule.

    “Only in a country where you run things for 40-plus years is two decades a temporary solution.”

    Smith and Pelletier said the current coast guard fleet is nonetheless in good shape and that there are positive signs of progress at Vancouver Shipbuilding, despite some hiccups.

    Those included a welding problem discovered on the three fisheries-science ships that has pushed back delivery of the first of those vessels until next year.

    The design and budget for the ocean-science ship also remains up in the air, while the construction schedule for the navy support ships and heavy icebreaker remain in limbo.

    “It’s really a dynamic time as we look to regrow the whole ecosystem of shipbuilding in this country, and they are in various stages of design and construction,” Smith said of the challenges.

    “So that whole ecosystem is being rebuilt.”

    Full Article >
    Article Source: LEE BERTHIAUME, The Globe and Mail

  • ABCMI Admin posted an article
    Canada to Use Interim Icebreakers for Around 20 Years see more

    The Canadian Coast Guard has indicated that it will use three Norwegian harsh-environment offshore support vessels (OSVs) purchased in August this year for its icebreaker fleet for the next 15 to 20 years.

    The Canadian Press reports that there are no immediate plans to replace the Coast Guard's existing vessels which are on average more than 35 years old. Current government plans call for the building of one new heavy icebreaker which won't be delivered until next decade. Deputy Commissioner Andy Smith, who is overseeing the shipbuilding plan, said the service is instead extending the life of its current fleet another 20 years — during which time it will rely on the OSVs to cover for vessels that are undergoing refit or maintenance.

    In August, Public Services and Procurement Canada awarded a $610-million contract to Davie Shipbuilding for the acquisition of the three Norwegian icebreaking anchor handling tug supply vessels, and the conversion of the first ship is expected to be ready this December. The second and third vessels are scheduled for delivery over the course of 2019.

    The vessels - Tor Viking, Balder Viking and Vidar Viking - were built to the commercial DNV ICE-10 notation. Davie Shipbuilding suggests the ships would meet Polar Class 4. Its prospectus indicates that the vessels would be roughly comparable in capability to the CCG's T1200-class icebreakers, which can maintain three knots in 10 feet of ice. 

    The Canadian government previously purchased "interim" icebreakers in the 1980s. They are still in use, Rob Huebert, an expert on the Arctic at the University of Calgary, told The Canadian Press. He believes the three OSVs may also become a permanent part of the fleet.

     Full Article >
    Article Source: The Maritime Executive
    Photo Source: The Maritime Executive

  • Leann Collins posted an article
    The Type 26 Global Combat Ship see more

    Irving Shipbuilding and Public Services and Procurement Canada have announced that BAE-Lockheed Martin is the industry team which scored the highest with their bid to provide the 15 new warships for the Royal Canadian Navy. The consortium is the “preferred bidder” according to the federal government, for the Canadian Surface Combatant program. Its design is the Type 26. That selection will now set off negotiations which in turn will – if all is successful – produce a contract. The entire project is worth $60 billion, with an estimated 60 per cent for the actual ship. 

     Full Article >
    Article Source: David Pugliese (Ottawa Citizen)
    Photo Source: Ottawa Citizen

  • ABCMI Admin posted an article
    ABCMI at 2018 Aerospace, Defence & Security Expo see more

    The Association of British Columbia Marine Industries was represented and very much involved at the Aerospace, Defence and Security Exposition (ADSE) in Abbotsford, August 9/10. New members came onboard and many new potential connections for companies in BC’s industrial marine sector were identified. 

  • ABCMI Admin posted an article
    B.C. Ferries plans new wave of five big replacement ships see more

    B.C. Ferries is heading into a major construction project to replace existing C-class ferries with five new vessels.

    The company issued a request for proposals on Tuesday for naval architect engineering support to develop construction bid packages and to review proposals from shipyards.

    This bidding opportunity is the first step in rolling out a new major-vessel construction bid package in the next couple of years, B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Tessa Humphries said.

    “We don’t have a firm time line for the selection of a shipyard but it would follow the same process our other procurements do, with multiple steps,” she said in an email.

    The five vessels would be replacements for the C-class ships, which were all built in B.C. Three were constructed in Vancouver and two in Victoria.

    The first new vessel is expected to go into service by 2024, Humphries said.

    Details such as expected costs are not available yet.

    B.C. Ferries’ C-class is made up of Queen of Alberni, Queen of Coquitlam, Queen of Cowichan, Queen of Oak Bay and Queen of Surrey. All are 139 metres (456 feet) long. And all but the Queen of Surrey serve Vancouver Island, either at Departure Bay or Duke Point in Nanaimo.

    Any construction plan is bound to reignite the decades-long discussion about where new vessels should be built. Unionized B.C. shipyard workers have consistently called for local construction to help support the province’s shipbuilding industry.

    Chuck Ko, who heads Allied Shipbuilders Ltd. of North Vancouver, said it takes political will to see ferries built in B.C. “There’s no recognition of the social benefits of building ships in B.C.,” he said, adding such work would provide high-paying work.

    Ko said he is unable to compete against high-volume Polish shipyards that pay workers lower wages. A Polish shipyard built the last batch of new vessels, the Salish class ferries.

    As well, the federal government has decided to waive import duties on passenger vessels constructed overseas.

    Further, the C-class ships are large and a vessel of that size would not fit in Allied’s yard. Allied would have to be part of a consortium that includes a firm with a larger facility in order to take part in construction of this magnitude, Ko said. He ruled out Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards because it is busy with existing federal contracts.

    C-class ferries went into service in either 1976 or 1981, B.C. Ferries says.

    Queen of Cowichan serves the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route. It has room for 312 vehicles and 1,494 passengers and crew members.

    Queen of Alberni has capacity for 280 vehicles and 1,200 passengers and crew. It runs between Duke Point and Tsawwassen.

    Queen of Coquitlam has room for 316 vehicles and 1,494 passengers and crew. It runs out of Horseshoe Bay, serving Departure Bay, and it also goes to Langdale.

    Queen of Oak Bay and Queen of Surrey can each carry 308 vehicles and up to 1,494 passengers and crew. Queen of Oak Bay runs between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay; Queen of Surrey serves Horseshoe Bay and Langdale.

    Full Article >
    Article Source: Carla Wilson (Times Colonist)
    Photo Source: BC Ferries

  • ABCMI Admin posted an article
    B.C. Ferries, premier want smaller ships built locally see more

    B.C. Ferries has announced plans to have up to five new smaller ferries built to serve inter-island routes.

    The company is also speaking in favour of B.C. shipyards bidding for the work. “We want to build locally in British Columbia,” Mark Wilson, B.C. Ferries vice-president of strategy and community engagement, said in an interview Wednesday.

    “We are doing a tremendous amount of work with local industry. We own the design rights to these existing classes of ships, so the design work will be done. Industry doesn’t have to invest in the design component.”

    The procurement process will be open and transparent, he said. “We are doing everything that we can to create the conditions for local industry to bid and submit the best that they can on this.”

    Cost is one consideration, along with the end product, the timeline and the amount of risk in a contract, he said.

    B.C. Ferries has a diverse fleet and is in the midst of shaving its 17 classes of vessels down to five as it renews its aging fleet.

    New inter-island ferries consist of two models.

    The 107-metre-long Salish class has room for 600 passengers and crew. Three of these were delivered last year from Poland in a $200-million project.

    The new 81-metre-long Island class has room for 300 passengers and crew. B.C. Ferries announced earlier that two will be built in Romania at Damen Shipyards. B.C. Ferries is also in the early stage of plans to replace its five larger C-class ships — such as Queen of Oak Bay — some of which can carry almost 1,500 passengers.

    The question of where ferries should be built is long-standing in B.C. Hundreds of millions of dollars in new-ferry construction has gone to Europe. Shipyard workers in this province have lobbied for years for made-in-B.C. ferries.

    Premier John Horgan said Wednesday that he wants ferries to be built in B.C. “The benefits to the community of having ship-building jobs in a maritime province are significant and those have diminished over time because of the policy choices of the previous government. And we are looking at what policy changes we can make to revitalize the ship-building industry.”

    Horgan said there is a lot of work to do. “We’ll take a look at that over the summer and see what we can do to effect a positive outcome for workers here in B.C.,” he said. “We are looking at all options available to make sure there are community benefits when public monies are expended.”

    Wilson said that separate contracts would be let for the Salish class and the smaller Island class. The smaller ferry is “one that I think, if local industry is serious about building in British Columbia, it is one that they can get behind.”

    The number of smaller vessels that will be ordered is expected to be set in the next two weeks.

    This construction would replace three Victoria-built 85-metre-long ferries: Mayne Queen, Bowen Queen and Powell River Queen, all 53 years old.

    Full Article >
    Article Source: Carla Wilson (Times Colonist)
    Photo Source: BC Ferries

  • ABCMI Admin posted an article
    B.C. shipyards urged to seek offshore partners to build ferries see more

    The most practicable way to give B.C. shipyards a piece of impending new ferry construction is for local companies to partner with large offshore firms, says the executive director of the Association of B.C. Marine Industries.

    Some kind of incentive or additional funding from the province is required for that to happen, Alex Rueben said Thursday.

    This scenario could see the hull and steel components put together in a foreign yard where it is cost effective. The outfitting, systems integration and commissioning would be done in B.C. shipyards, supported by B.C. companies who specialize in such work, he said.

    That’s the recommendation Rueben is taking to the province in the wake of May and June forums among B.C. Ferries, coastal shipyards and other industry representatives.

    A report put together based on the meetings has gone to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.

    Blair Redlin, senior adviser for the coastal ferry review, attended a forum and has also received the report.

    B.C. Ferries has announced it plans to replace its five C-class ferries, which carry up to 1,500 passengers and crew each. It is also looking to order up to five smaller ferries to serve inter-island routes. Further shuttle-style ferries are being considered.

    “That’s a lot of work,” Rueben said.

    Build ferries in B.C. to get a substantial spinoff effect in our economy, he said.

    The five smaller ferries — likely four Island-class (about 300 passengers) and one Salish class (about 600 passengers) — could be built under a partnership arrangement with big foreign firms, provided B.C. agrees to some kind of financial support, Rueben said.

    That could be configured in a number of ways, such as subsidies for yards through funding to adopt new technologies and new automated technology, to support training of workers, to develop supply chains in Canada, and tax incentives, the report said.

    B.C. Ferries must abide by provincial legislation requiring it to get the best value for ferry users. That’s why Rueben is focusing on winning backing from the province.

    B.C. shipyards used to build ferries for the province’s fleet.

    B.C. Premier John Horgan and B.C. Ferries are saying they would like to see vessels built in B.C.

    But there are constraints.

    These days, major construction projects, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, typically go offshore because foreign shipyards have competitive advantages. They have lower labour costs, don’t have the same raft of health and safety rules as in B.C., and because they are constantly building new ships they have high productivity, Rueben said.

    Canadian shipyards have found themselves at a further disadvantage when the federal government earlier decided to waive import duties for new passenger vessels.

    Seaspan Shipyards has B.C.’s largest yard in North Vancouver but it is committed to turning out new non-combat ships for the federal government. While it has the size and a growing expertise in new construction, it is not immediately available.

    That leaves smaller yards on Vancouver Island and the mainland, which are not large enough to build a big vessel, although it might be possible to build a smaller ferry.

    B.C. Ferries normally seeks a design-and-build contract with shipyards. But by doing that, it cuts out small yards because they can not afford to develop their own designs, the report said.

    That practice is changing with the upcoming smaller contracts. A B.C. Ferries official said this week that in the case of the smaller vessels, it will be sharing existing designs with local yards.

    The Marine Industries Association’s report recommends that B.C. Ferries specify local products that could be supplied by B.C. yards for new ferries. Local yards could form consortiums and travel overseas to promote installing these products on new vessels.

    B.C. Ferries could consider lengthening its delivery schedule to accommodate the capacity of smaller yards, the report said.

    Consortiums of local and foreign yards could combine fabrication at each location, the report said.

    It appears that large new ferries will not be built in B.C. in the near term, but the forum tried to come up with immediate ways to help local industry. One participant said: “Let’s take our strengths right now to work with foreign yards to see what can be done in partnership.”

    Full Article >
    Article Source: Carla Wilson (Times Colonist)
    Photo Source: BC Ferries

  • Article
    In recent years, the building of ferries has sailed offshore, but some people want that to change. see more

    From the 1960s until the early 2000s BC Ferries’ fleet was built right here in B.C. In more recent years, contracts have sailed offshore, but these people want that to change.

    “Today is about sharing the information with the Canadian shipbuilding industry and all the suppliers to help them understand BC Ferries requirements in building ships and hopefully maximize Canadian content in any building we do moving forward,” said Mark Collins, president and CEO of BC Ferries.

    Representatives from a wide range of B.C.’s marine industries gathered in Victoria on Wednesday to figure out how to remain competitive in bids for BC Ferries’ construction.

    “It looks like to be a challenge. And BC Ferries said it would be right from the outset that it would be. They’re looking for the best rate, for the farepayers,” said Alex Rueben, the Executive Director of the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries.

    But, there remains a sense of optimism.

    “I think BC Ferries is really opening the kimono so to speak, saying we really want to build ships here, but here’s what we need,” said Rueben.

    “Let’s see where we can take it because the industrial marine sector is a significant contributor to the BC economy.”

    A lot of the conversation centres around Seaspan, the Vancouver and Victoria-based shipbuilder dominates the B.C. industry. The company will be building ships for the federal government for the next four to five years. But, upgrades for that project may benefit the whole B.C. marine industry.

    “With the advances we’re seeing in the Canadian and B.C. shipbuilding industry, I’m confident that more Canadian content is possible,” said Collins.

    Full Article >
    Article Source: CHEK News
    Photo Source: CHEK News

  • Article
    New Zealand Navy frigate Te Kaha was officially handed over to Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards. see more

    New Zealand Navy frigate Te Kaha was officially handed over to Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards in a ceremony at CFB Esquimalt on Thursday.

    On May 1, the 387-foot ship will move from the base to Victoria Shipyards and the federally owned Esquimalt Graving Dock for the start of a combat weapons system modernization.

    This is the first time since the Second World War that a foreign warship has been modernized in Canada, said prime contractor Lockheed Martin. Marc Milner, professor of history and director of the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick, said a few foreign warships were repaired during the Second World War, but he knew of no others since then.

    The contractors are hoping the project puts Canada on the map internationally, attracting customers for additional high-tech ship systems jobs.

    Victoria Shipyards is carrying out the work on the Te Kaha, and on the Te Mana which arrives next year, for Lockheed Martin Canada, which won the $300-million-plus contract in 2014.

    Helene Quilter, New Zealand secretary of defence and chief executive of the Ministry of Defence, said at the ceremony that the frigate upgrading program “continues to create opportunities to strengthen the partnership between our two countries, not the least for training and experience sharing.

    “It has been no easy process to get to this point,” she said, describing the planning as a detailed and demanding project.

    The Te Kaha’s systems are nearing the end of their operational life, she said.

    Quilter said that this modernization “takes advantage of new and emerging technologies.”

    The significance of this project to New Zealand is “considerable and can not be overstated.”

    Lockheed Martin is providing the technology for the work, following up on a similar partnership with Seaspan that saw five Canadian frigates modernized by Victoria Shipyards.

    The 20-year-old Te Kaha arrived in Victoria March 6 and has been at Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton, where it has been prepared for the work.

    Gary Fudge, acting vice-president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary Mission Systems, said the work on Canada’s Halifax-class frigates allowed the company to turn that experience into an international market opportunity. “We’ve taken some home-grown Canadian technology and we’ve been able to take that and leverage it world-wide and bring good healthy jobs into Canada.”

    As the prime systems integrator, Lockheed Martin is responsible for designing and supplying the upgraded combat system for the frigates. This includes a new combat management system, plus the supply and integration of sensors and a missile system.

    These systems are expensive and difficult to develop, Fudge said. “Canadian technology is fantastic and it is really scalable and affordable for countries that are in a similar stature to Canada. They don’t have large defence budgets.”

    Countries with extensive coastlines need vessels with a lot of capability, he said.

    Lockheed Martin has an on-site staff that ranges between 25 and 40 in Victoria. They will oversee shipboard work on the Te Kaha and Te Mana, Fudge said.

    Brian Carter, president and chief executive of Seaspan Shipyards, described the work as a rare opportunity, saying the company will continue to work with Lockheed Martin to seek out further projects.

    “The Victoria Shipyards team has been very focused on developing our international capability.”

    The New Zealand job is “definitely putting us on the map,” he said.

    The contracts deliver economic benefits to the capital region.

    “It’s going to employ 200 people in our Victoria shipyard for about two years. And also allow us to leverage about 100 companies throughout the region to help us support the refit of these vessels,” Carter said.

    Full Article >
    Article Source: Carla Wilson (Times Colonist)
    Photo Source: Darren Stone (Times Colonist)