Shipbuilding contracts should lead to 30 years of opportunity

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Says Duke University study

HALIFAX – The province is helping Nova Scotians get ready to make the most of the federal shipbuilding contracts that will bring 30 years of opportunities and good jobs.

On Thursday, Premier Darrell Dexter released an analysis of the range of activities needed to create, produce, deliver and maintain the arctic offshore patrol ships, polar icebreaker, and research vessels.

Duke University's Centre on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness in Durham, N.C., prepared the study, which shows how local companies could become suppliers to the shipbuilding programs in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

"Nova Scotia is built to build ships, and this study confirms that," Dexter said in a news release. "Nova Scotians are ready to turn the corner toward prosperity, and this is another tool to help build the supply chain and the workforce that will get us ready for the opportunity of a generation."

More than 100 Nova Scotia firms were named in the study as some of the potential suppliers for the work Irving Shipbuilding and Seaspan will do. One of those companies is Lunenburg Industrial Foundry and Engineering, one of Atlantic Canada's leading ship repair and marine industrial manufacturing firms.

"For over a century, Lunenburg Foundry has adapted to changing markets and opportunities, and we'll continue to change as these new shipbuilding projects take shape and the industry evolves," said Lunenburg and Industrial Foundry and Engineering president and CEO Peter Kinley. "Our high-quality products and services are recognized around the world, and we welcome this report that notes our strengths and shows where we might fit in the extensive global shipbuilding value chain."

The study includes ways to accelerate emerging technologies and support entrepreneurs to ensure Nova Scotia's tradition of shipbuilding meets the demands of today's marine environment. The study also pinpoints global companies the province can attract to help grow a strong shipbuilding and ocean technology industry for the long term.

The study makes recommendations for industry and government in three main areas to help increase Nova Scotia's participation in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy: including supporting Nova Scotia companies, growing technology and innovation opportunities and building relationships and planning for the future.

The province has agreed to advance the recommendations, some of which are already underway, including: establishing the Major Initiative and Projects Office to co-ordinate cross-government activities in support of large projects like shipbuilding, supporting local companies to participate in national and international trade shows and industry seminars to build relationships, and working with the Ships Start Here partnership to explore options to centralize accurate information on procurement, projects, and certification and regulatory requirements.

"Nova Scotia's companies are well positioned across the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy value chains that Duke evaluated, particularly for the Canadian icebreaker and the science vessels," said Duke University's Centre on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness director Gary Gereffi. "This study offers a number of opportunities for Nova Scotia to develop a competitive shipbuilding sector now and for the future."

As Irving Shipbuilding gets closer to the production of the combat vessels, which make up about half of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, the province will explore a global value chain study of those ships.

The $25-billion federal shipbuilding contracts will provide work for the next 30 years and 11,500 direct and indirect jobs in Nova Scotia when the project hits its stride in a few years time.

The study can be found online at

Organizations: Duke University, Irving Shipbuilding, Major Initiative and Projects Office

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Durham, N.C., British Columbia Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • gary babineau jr.
    January 24, 2013 - 20:56

    seriously,about somes it up,don't hold your breath.

  • Seriously?
    January 24, 2013 - 17:56

    Really, people...when was the last time a politician told the truth?! Dexter hasnt done squat to help the people of Nova Scotia, only big business by giving corporations massive cash "non-repayable" grants while the general population is going bankrupt. 11,500 jobs?!....when pigs fly, hell freezes over and the Leafs win the Stanley Cup.......

  • irene
    January 24, 2013 - 14:50

    Mr.Dexter and local MLA's,Has any contract actually signed for a start date as of this date,If not,Why Not??? To much talk and not enough action for the unemployed in this Province by Your Governing!!

  • Julie
    January 24, 2013 - 13:41

    Helping to secure this contract was Darrell Dexter's finest accomplishment. People complain about loaning money to create jobs, but this was a once in a lifetime accomplishment, and without the provincial investment, Vancouver would have won the bid.

  • Julie
    January 24, 2013 - 13:40

    Helping to secure this contract was Darrell Dexter's finest accomplishment. Everyone worked together - the union, the province, the management at Irving, to make sure we won. A proud day. People complain about loaning money to create jobs, but this was a once in a lifetime accomplishment, and without the provincial investment, Vancouver would have won the bid. People have gone out west for work for a hundred years. The tide is turning.