Canada has awarded a $610-million contract to Chantier Davie for the acquisition of three icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.
The contract was awarded by the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) “following a fair, open and transparent process that included extensive industry engagement” and also includes work to prepare the first ship for service in the Coast Guard. This contract follows an Advance Contract Award Notice that was issued on June 22, 2018.
The acquisition will consist of purchasing three existing Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels with icebreaking capabilities, converted to Coast Guard specifications. The three candidate ships proposed for the conversion are Tor Viking, Balder Viking and Vidar Viking currently operated by Norwegian supply shipping company, Viking Supply Ships AB.
The first vessel is expected to begin operations for the upcoming icebreaking season, beginning in December 2018. The second and third vessels will be converted, refit and available to support Coast Guard programs by the summer of 2019 and the winter of 2019-2020, respectively.
Further costs will be known once the Government of Canada has examined the vessels and determined what work is required to prepare them for service.
These new ships will supplement the Coast Guard’s existing fleet while they undergo refits and repairs. They will conduct critical missions such as icebreaking duties for the Southern wintertime program and will be deployed as needed in support of Arctic summertime programs.
“Our Government is firmly committed to ensuring the women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard have the equipment they need to carry out their important work on behalf of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. This contract will help support Coast Guard operations and will create and maintain jobs in the region”, said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.
Icebreakers are crucial to Canadian Coast Guard services, vital to the safety of mariners, the protection of coastal waters, resupply of northern communities and the orderly flow of commerce through Canadian waters that contributes more than $200 billion to the Canadian economy. This contract will ensure that shipping lanes in the St. Lawrence River remain open in the winter.
“The acquisition of these icebreakers is proof of our Government’s commitment to keep our waterways open for business year-round and to support our coastal communities. This is a great day for the Coast Guard and for the Canadians they serve”, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
With this contract, the Government of Canada has now awarded more than $8.1 billion of National Shipbuilding Strategy-related contracts across Canada. It nearly doubles the total value of contracted shipbuilding work to companies in Quebec.