Seaspan Makes Significant Infrastructure Investments to Expand its Vancouver Yard

Seaspan has announced a substantial investment to upgrade and expand its Vancouver drydock infrastructure and grow the company’s ship repair and maintenance operations to better serve the Pacific Northwest.

Seaspan received permit approval from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) in October 2023 to extend its North Vancouver drydock facilities to increase capacity and service additional vessels.

Seaspan consolidated its ship repair and maintenance projects at Vancouver Drydock, resulting in the shipyard running at or near capacity for several years. This drydock expansion will increase Seaspan’s capacity for ship repair projects by about 30 per cent, and will result in approximately 100 new, well-paying jobs.

“Seaspan Vancouver Drydock plays an integral role in supporting the West Coast marine industry and creating long-term work for BC’s skilled workforce. By investing in improvements to better use our land and the space within our water lots, we will be able to serve more customers, create new jobs and harness new economic activity for our communities,” said Paul Hebson, Vice President and General Manager of Vancouver Drydock. “The input and feedback we gathered during the public engagement process for the drydock expansion allowed us to develop meaningful measures to address concerns and helped us created a stronger, more responsive project.”

The expansion includes a drydock expansion, a new operations building and a complete upgrade and extension to the current careen deck to enhance its capabilities.

The drydock expansion includes extending Seaspan’s current water lot by 40 metres and the addition of two new smaller drydocks and a floating work pontoon to the west of the two existing drydocks. The project is expected to take approximately 1 year to complete, with the drydocks and work pontoon arriving by water fully assembled. The project is subject to 61 conditions that address the impacts of noise, air emissions and lighting. Seaspan has committed to implementing several mitigation measures to its existing operation, as well as to the expanded facilities.

The new operations building for Seaspan’s growing workforce is designed to accommodate up to 300 people over two shifts. Construction will commence soon and is expected to be complete by late 2024.

Vancouver Drydock currently has a skilled team of about 200 people who complete maintenance, repair and refit on more than 50 vessel projects per year, including tugs, ferries, large freighters, Canadian Coast Guard vessels, cruise ships, fishing vessels, and barges.

In addition to expanding its shipyard capacity, Seaspan earlier this year also awarded $2.6 million in contracts to four technology companies involved in the marine industry to develop cutting-edge digital technologies that will boost shipbuilding. The four companies, 3GA, BCS Automation, Gastops and Kognitiv Spark, will develop three information technology systems for the shipyard, based on Seaspan’s immersive visualization system, Holoship.

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