National shipbuilding strategy comes to aid of Canadian shipbuilding industry

The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) has provided a strong boost to Canada’s maritime industry. A few weeks back the shipbuilding company Seaspan Shipyards celebrated the first cut of steel for the new Joint Support Ships (JSS) to be built for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The ceremony held at Vancouver Shipyards creates an important benchmark by enabling Canada to build its own ships.

According to the deal, Seaspan will build non-combat ships for the RCN over a span of 30 years. The project is expected to generate jobs for 1,000 tradespeople along with 300 office staff for the Vancouver shipyard. The company has also invested $170 million for developing the Vancouver Shipyards into state of the art facilities.

A look at the strategy

The aim seems to be long-term growth here, and that’s how the plan is drawn up.

For the first 10 years of the NSS, the shipyards at Vancouver are expected to invest $1.3 billion on Canadian suppliers and contribute around $290 million to the GDP of Canada leveraging its economy. President and CEO of Seaspan Shipyards, Brian Carter said that the steel cutting ceremony is not only important to the company and its customers but also significant for the shipbuilding industry in Canada and the thousands of hardworking people employed by it. He also added that the ceremony proves that shipbuilding is back in Canada and his company is very proud to head the venture.

Other stakeholders have also benefited from the NSS. Chief operating officer and President of Alion Science and Technology, Bruce Samuelsen said that his company was really honored to be a part of design and integration of JSS supporting Seaspan under the NSS. The national strategy and JSS project will ensure the growth of Canada’s home ship design, engineering and shipbuilding industries and create well paying long-term jobs.

What does it mean for us?

Founder & President of Ideal Welders, Jim Longo expressed his happiness to be a part of the NSS. They have been in business for over 40 years and have become a significant employer in the West Coast. Longo said that his company will be able to grow under the JSS deal providing services to Seaspan. He also added that they have increased their workforce by 30%, made investments in training and productivity-enhancing equipment, and doubled the size of their facilities to meet the needs of the modern shipbuilding industry.

The JSS will be one of the largest ships to come out from the Canadian West Coast and needs the collaboration of different stakeholders. The ships will be more than 173 meters in length and come with a displacement of 20,000 tonnes.

The ships will be used to carry on the work of RCN domestically and also on international waters serving humanitarian and defense purposes. The JSS will bring supplies and fuels to other ships at the sea, provide a base for helicopter operations, facilitate repairing and offer dental and health facilities.