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Greater Victoria, BC News


Date ArticleType
4/1/2014 Published Article
Shipbuilding On Course for Positive Growth

B.C’s shipbuilding industry is on course for significant economic growth. From a starting point of $450 million in economic activity, this sector is poised to grow to $1.4 billion. The positive economic impacts and spinoffs will be considerable especially here in the Greater Victoria region.

The National Shipbuilding and Procurement Strategy (NSPS), which will see Seaspan building up to 17 non-combat vessels right here in B.C. is a key driver for projected industry growth. An additional $2 billion in smaller ship (vessels < 1,000 tonnes) construction contracts remain to be awarded. These contracts are open to Canadian shipyards not building larger NSPS vessels and Greater Victoria is well positioned to be able to attract much of that work. Further, we expect work to accelerate in the marine industry as BC Ferries continues its fleet renewal, the Coast Guard procures 18-21 new vessels (<1,000 tonnes), Royal Navy contracts, and resource-related marine activity increases.

Right here in the Capital region, Victoria Shipyards expects its operations to continue full steam ahead throughout the next 15 years. Greater Victoria is the central location for repairs, refit, maintenance, and modernization in the shipbuilding and repair industry. The recent land swap deal will position Point Hope Maritime to expand its operations, bolstering shipbuilding and repair capacity remarkably. Point Hope specializes in smaller vessels and may develop sufficient capacity to construct some these vessels while continuing to meet the ongoing repair and maintenance needs of many their customers.

It may be too early to tell if Point Hope will be bidding on new smaller ship construction. The complicated task of expanding their facilities lies ahead. Potentially, these changes will develop facilities that can keep our inner harbour marine facilities competitive for the next 50 years or more.

Expansion in the local shipbuilding and repair industry is poised to provide household sustaining jobs for years to come and deserves the support of our community. The expansion of Point Hope Maritime is concrete proof that shipbuilding is alive and growing in Greater Victoria. Moving us back into the shipbuilding and repair sector. Strong sectors such as this are important to businesses and the community at large, providing diversity in our local economy and keeping it stable.

Bruce Carter
CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

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