Construction Navale


Canada: Rejuvenated Seaspan looks to a bright future

Shipbuilding in Canada has been on the wane for some years, but recently Canadian-based Seaspan has seen a flurry of orders come in that has boosted its orderbooks until the 2020s. The rapid boost in the Western Canadian shipyard was aided by a Canadian government initiative that created shipbuilding programme to rebuild the shipbuilding industry in Canada.




With the fleet renewal projects on the Great Lakes, Seaspan was approached to develop a dual fuel vessel for the owner Seaspan Ferries in 2014. For this Seaspan approached Vard to assist with the design of the vessel. The first of these latest vessels, Seaspan Swift, is set to be delivered to its owner in December, with the next in the series to be delivered in February 2017. The vessels will measure 148.6m in length oa, 26m beam and will have a top speed of 16.5knots.  They will be fitted out with LNG propulsion system and a hybrid ESS power pack, giving the vessels 4,400kW propulsive power, along with dual azimuthing stern drives.


Seaspan Swift (CORVUS ENERGY)


Further to this Seaspan has also received orders for three offshore fisheries science vessels, two of which are currently under construction. One offshore survey vessel, two joint support ships, one polar class ice breaker and up to 10 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) & medium endurance multi tasked vessels. Brian Carter, president, Seaspan shipyards says about the OSV orders that: “In 2013 the next series of OPV vessels was announced, which we will be designing. We are looking at five of these vessels to start with to really prove and cut our teeth on this type of project.”




Due to the sudden expansion in business has led the Canadian-based shipyard to also overhaul the shipyard and it headquarters. In 2012 the company hired STX to help with the redevelopment of the shipyard to be able to handle the construction for the up and coming contracts. The CAN$170 million modernisation project was started in 2012 and completed in 2014.



Further development of the Seaspan facilities will also see the 7,800 square metre (84,000 square foot) corporate headquarters, scheduled for completion in late 2017.  It will house 350 Seaspan staff (up from the current 130) from across its various companies. The office design will also incorporate a number of green building standards such as passive heating and reduced water use, and involve an extensive reconfiguration of the current parking lot, including the addition of 122 new stalls. “It’s about getting the right skills mix and working with community and also the first nations (aboriginal). 20% of our work force is from an aboriginal background,” Carter highlights about the company’s work force.

Seaspan expects to hire another 1,300 trade workers and office staff over the next five years. It is estimated that Seaspan’s NSPS work will create 5,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs over the next 20 years, produce almost CAN$500 million per year in GDP for B.C.’s economy.

Samantha Fisk, in Vancouver, Mer et Marine, December 2016