North Van's Seaspan wins $8B federal shipbuilding contract
Seaspan Marine was awarded the lesser of two federal shipbuilding contracts totaling $35 billion Wednesday.
The $8-billion contract is to build non-combat ships including an Arctic icebreaker for the Canadian government.
Seaspan was one of three companies bidding on the projects which included a $25-billion military warship contract which was awarded to Irving Shipbuilders in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Also in the running was Davie, a Quebec shipbuilding firm which will remain in the running for $2-billion in ancillary contracts for which neither Seaspan nor Irving can bid.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark was at a BC Liberal caucus meeting that erupted in cheers when the announcement was made from Ottawa that Seaspan won the secondary bid.
"It tells us that Canada works, so B.C. can get to work," Clark said. "This represents a really positive sign for our budget. You won't see it in the next six or eight months, but its impact is absolutely going to be felt."
Seaspan spokeswoman Kelly Francis said Wednesday the contract would create approximately 4,000 new jobs over the next eight years.
Seaspan estimated that construction of the new vessels would not likely begin until late in 2012. In the meantime, over $150 million in new infrastructure will be built at Seaspan's North Vancouver and Victoria shipyards to prepare for the project.
—with files from Tom Fletcher