The federal government has authorized Irving Shipbuilding to begin work on the next two tasks related to the first contract of the national shipbuilding contract.
© Jeff Harper/Metro
Irving shipyard employees work on a vessel in the yard.
[HALIFAX, NS] - The federal government has authorized Irving Shipbuilding to begin work on the next two tasks related to the first contract of the national shipbuilding contract.
Justice Minister Peter Mackay and Public Works Minister Diane Finley hosted a news conference at the Irving Shipyard Thursday to announce the next multi-million dollar step towards construction of an undetermined number of Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPS).
“This is the final definition stage where we will be identifying the final design, the cost and then we’ll have a much better sense of just how many of the ships we’ll be able to deliver on budget,” said Finley.
Irving and the federal government signed the definition contract for AOPS last March. It was divided into seven tasks required to establish the AOPS design before construction begins in 2015.
Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin McCoy said the first two tasks were completed on time and on budget, and the same is expected for the Engineering Design Phase 2 and the Project Implementation Proposal Development.
Those two tasks, which will be completed in August, will allow Irving to give the federal government precise estimates of the costs required to finish and build the ships.
“From fall of this year until the fall of the following year, we’ll finish that last piece of very detailed design including the actual drawings that we’ll give to the production mechanics on the floor,” said McCoy.
About 200 people are currently working on the AOPS design, and McCoy said Irving is now advertising for about a dozen senior staff positions.
He said about 60 per cent of the engineering work will be done in Canada, with the rest going to a Denmark design agent.
“One of the things about ending the boom and bust cycle is the next generation…will have Canadians trained up as ship designers,” he said.