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  • 2021 March 30 13:16

    Seaspan Shipyards starts construction of Canada’s most modern science research ship

    Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel will conduct critical research on climate change impacts and Canada’s ocean ecosystems in support of the Blue Economy Strategy.

    Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) announced it has cut steel and started full-rate construction of the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV). This important milestone kicks off construction of the third class of ships Seaspan is building under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). The vessel will deliver much-needed fleet capability for the Canadian Coast Guard and an oceanographic science platform for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

    For the next three years, more than 700 Seaspan employees and hundreds more in the company’s cross-Canada supply chain will work on the 88-metre-long ship. The OOSV is being built at Seaspan’s multi-program Vancouver Shipyard concurrently with the first Joint Support Ship for the Royal Canadian Navy.

    The OOSV will support a wide range of oceanographic, fishery, geological and hydrographic survey missions. These missions will advance scientific knowledge about the oceans, the seabed and the impacts of climate change and help lead to healthier, more sustainable ocean ecosystems, a key priority of the Government of Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy.

    This floating laboratory will be outfitted with specialized equipment that includes several advanced wet and dry labs, an ocean sampling room, a scientific seawater system for studying oxygen levels, temperature and salinity, and a state-of-the-art drop keel and sensor suite for collecting and analyzing data on everything from water current velocities to underwater acoustics.

    The ship, which will accommodate up to 34 crew and 26 scientists, will also perform search and rescue operations and environmental response as needed.

    The new OOSV will replace the venerable CCGS Hudson, which was Canada’s first ocean science vessel when it entered service in 1964 and is the longest serving ship in the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. CCGS Hudson is set to retire in 2024 after 60 years of significant scientific missions, invaluable contributions to ocean science, and several historic expeditions including in the Arctic and as the first science vessel to circumnavigate both North and South America.

    In keeping with current COVID-19-related restrictions on events and public gatherings, the OOSV steel cutting at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard was attended by a small team of employees and on-site representatives of the Canadian Coast Guard. Watch the video.

    “Today’s steel cutting milestone is a great day for our environment, our economy, and for the more than 700 Canadian workers who will be meaningfully employed building this landmark vessel. The new Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel will serve as the main platform for the Canadian Coast Guard’s ocean science work, which will help us better understand our ecosystems, protect our marine environment, and ensure the health of our oceans – all of which is essential to a strong, sustainable Blue Economy. Congratulations to all Seaspan Shipyards workers as you begin the construction,” the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard was quoted as saying.

    The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change commented: “Investing in oceanographic research is critical to deepening our understanding of marine environments and the impacts of climate change on our oceans. I am incredibly proud that this vessel is being built here in North Vancouver by Seaspan Shipyards, which is an integral part of our local economy.”

    The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement comments: “The start of construction of a new vessel under the National Shipbuilding Strategy is always a significant milestone toward the Government of Canada’s commitment to the renewal of the Coast Guard’s future fleet, the growing of our marine industry and the creation of jobs in communities throughout Canada. Congratulations to Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards and its workers on today’s steel cut for the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel.”

    Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards said: “Steel cutting is a massive step forward to our ultimate goal of putting a new ship in the water. After years of detailed planning and design, being able to move the ship off the page and into the hands of the shipbuilders who bring those designs to life adds a special energy and excitement to the shipyard. Congratulations to the Canadian Coast Guard, all of our partners and the team at Seaspan for getting us to this important milestone.”

    Under the NSS, Seaspan has become a major economic and job creation engine. As of December 2019, Seaspan had contributed more than $1.5 billion dollars to Canada’s GDP and directed nearly $1B to more than 670 suppliers from coast to coast. (Source: Deloitte Socioeconomic Impact Study)
    Seaspan delivered the first ship under the NSS in 2019 and completed the first full class of vessels under the NSS in 2020.
    Work on the first Royal Canadian Navy Joint Support Ship (JSS) – the largest naval vessel by length ever to be built in Canada – is well advanced. (Progress gallery)
    Seaspan continues to award contracts to Canadian businesses across the country, recently surpassing $1B in contracts on the JSS program alone.
    Seaspan has become one of the most modern shipyards in North America, with state-of-the-art, purpose-built infrastructure to deliver the entire non-combat fleet, including the Polar Icebreaker.




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