OTTAWA—The Conservative government has launched the initial phase of a project to build a handful of next-generation lifeboats for use by the Canadian Coast Guard.
Announced by Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea and Public Works and Government Services Minister Diane Finley, the request for information (RFI) will see federal officials meet with Canadian shipyards and suppliers to hammer out details of the lifeboat program.
The lifeboats are being built as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) and its small vessels program.
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the intent of the RFI is to meet with potential suppliers to collect information before launching the request for proposals (RFP) stage.
The small vessels program includes 18 to 21 new vessels for the Coast Guard fleet.
Canadian shipyards, other than the two selected under the NSPS to build the large vessels and their affiliated companies, will be able to compete in individual procurement processes on a project-by-project basis, the government said.
The shore-based self-righting lifeboats will be capable of operations up to 100 nautical miles from shore.
Construction of the vessels could begin as early as 2014.