Construction begins on $514 million Coast Guard vessels at North Vancouver shipyards

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Construction has commenced at Seaspan’s North Vancouver shipyards on the first of three offshore fisheries science vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard.

The three vessels will replace existing vessels that are past their lifespan and will be primarily used for scientific research and ecosystem management. The total cost of the vessels is $514 million and it is estimated the project will create 500 new jobs. The first vessel will be completed in 2017.

“I am proud of the investment we made in providing the Canadian Coast Guard with the equipment it needs, and even more so of the commitment to revamp our shipbuilding industry,” said MP Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, in a statement.

Over the last several years, Seaspan’s North Vancouver shipyards has secured $11.3 billion in federal government contracts through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). The three fisheries vessels are part of the overall order for 17 non-combat vessels for both the Royal Canadian Navy and the Coast Guard, which includes large naval supply ships and a heavy icebreaker.

The company is spending $200 million on infrastructural upgrades at its North Vancouver shipyards to ensure it can complete the federal government’s order. A total of 15,000 jobs and $2 billion in local economic benefits will be generated by the NSPS over 30 years.

Another $25 billion has been earmarked for a Halifax shipyard to construct new frigates, destroyers and armed Arctic patrol vessels for the navy.

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