New “icebreaking” strategy of Canada

Last week a $610-million contract was signed by Public Services and Procurement of Canada and Davie Shipbuilding for the purchase of three icebreaking AHTS in order to reconstruct them for the needs of the Canadian Coast Guard. Initially Viking Supply Ships sold these vessels to the Canadian government.

The project is expected to proceed quickly. The work with the first ship is set for the end of 2018 and the other two vessels will be delivered during the period of 2019.

The three vessels were originally constructed according to class ICE-10. Now they are going to be retrofitted to meet Polar Class 4 (PC4). The representatives of Davie say that the vessels will be approximately of the same capability as icebreakers used by CCG. These are T1200-class models which keep the speed of three knots in 10 feet of ice.

Viking says that they will be able to get a profit of $275 million due to the sale. This deal is also so vital for them because of difficult situation on the offshore market.

It is uneasy task for Davie to get a federal contract as it has to compete with Irving Shipbuilding and Vancouver Shipyards who actually are on Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy list. The competition of three yards for Canadian Navy and Coast Guard is quite acute and full of political influence.

Irving Shipbuilding hopes that Government of Canada will reconsider its decision and will reassign this work to their yards and Vancouver Shipyards because it is vital for their long term success.