Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Big Day

So today was the big day for the Federal Government's $35 billion shipbuilding announcement. The announcement came just after 5 pm Halifax time (ADT).

At first it was reported that the announcement would be made following the close of the stock markets - not sure why this should be - oh, yes, Seaspan is a publicly traded corporation. Irving Shipbuilding is privately owned, and Davie is, well, under creditor protection. Davie's new parents Daewoo and Upper Lakes Group are not publicly traded as far as I can determine, and the yard is under creditor protection until the end of October.
In a very dry pronouncement the bureaucrat tasked with reporting on the selection process finally got to the point:
Irving Shipbuilding (Halifax Shipyard) gets the plum contract, the construction of the combat vessels- namely 3 destroyers, 12 frigates and 3 arctic patrol vessels.
Seaspan (Vancouver Shipyard) gets the non-combat portion of the work, namely two support ships (with an option for third) a polar icebreaker, a hydrographic survey ship, etc.,
Davie Quebec is out of the running, but eligible for other contracts for the Coast Guard, fisheries, etc., from which the other two yards are excluded.
This is wonderful news for Halifax of course, and seems to be the most reasonable one too- and apparently free from political interference.

By coincidence the Icelandic patrol vessel that visited Halifax over night left early this afternoon.
The Canadian three ship arctic patrol vessels will look very similar, and they are expected to be the first ships to be built by Halifax.
Although they will be even larger, they will be of a similar configuration to Thor.

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