HALIFAX—The federal government says the build planning and engineering design phases have been launched as part of a massive shipbuilding endeavour—steps that could be worth as much as $53.5-million to Canadian firms.
Announced by Public Works Minister Diane Finley and Justice Minister and Nova Scotia Regional Minister Peter MacKay in Halifax, the two phases have been authorized for the construction of offshore patrol vessels under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).
The tasks are part of a contract awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in March 2013 for the construction of arctic/offshore patrol ships (AOPS) worth an estimated $288-million.
The second phase of engineering design is the second of three design tasks that will see Irving and partners continue to implement federal specifications into the eventual makeup of the ships.
During the project implementation proposal development phase, the shipyard will prepare a full build plan, which will include all activities related to material procurement and construction.
According to the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), the NSPS will mean 15,000 long-term jobs and $2-billion annually in economic growth over 30 years.
Public Works said plans to cut steel and begin construction of the ships in 2015 remain on schedule.
“By proceeding with these next two tasks under the definition contract, we will continue to refine and complete the ships’ design and production details before cutting steel, and in turn reducing risk and respecting taxpayers’ money,” Finley said in a statement.
No timeline for the completion of the design and planning steps has been provided.