Canadian shipbuilder, Davie Shipbuilding (Chantier Davie Canada) has refloated ex-Vidar Viking icebreaker out of its Champlain Drydock on Nov. 13 morning.
The icebreaker is scheduled to be handed over to the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) at the end of the month becoming the first new Polar Icebreaker to enter the Coast Guard fleet in decades. The vessel, which is yet to be officially named by the CCG, is a former Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel operated by Norwegian supply shipping company, Viking Supply Ships AB.
In August this year, the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has awarded a $610-million contract to Chantier Davie for the acquisition of three icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard following an Advance Contract Award Notice that was issued on June 22.
The contract was for the acquisition of three existing Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels with icebreaking capabilities, converted to Coast Guard specifications. The three candidate ships proposed for the conversion were Tor Viking, Balder Viking and Vidar Viking operated by Norway’s Viking Supply Ships AB.
The first vessel, ex-Vidar Viking, is expected to begin operations for the upcoming icebreaking season, beginning next month. 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.
These new ships will supplement the Coast Guard’s existing icebreaking 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.