Cape Breton companies await awarding of shipbuilding contract
SYDNEY, NS (October 19, 2011) – Today’s announcement regarding the $30 billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) is a significant opportunity for our region. The Government of Canada will invest approximately $30 billion in the Federal Fleet over the next 30 years.
The Cape Breton Partnership plans to pull together stakeholders made up of business, community, and government leaders to approach the successful bidder to determine what role Cape Breton companies can play in the coming months and years. The Partnership has already demonstrated support for the bid by being part of the Ships Start Here initiative.
One Canadian shipyard will be awarded the “combat package”, which includes the Navy’s Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships and the Canadian Surface Combatants Ships. Another shipyard will be awarded the “non-combat” package. This package includes the Navy’s Joint Support Ships and the Canadian Coast Guard’s offshore science vessels, as well as the new Polar icebreaker.
Irving Shipbuilding is a leading contender for the combat package. Including direct, indirect and induced economic impacts, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that the combat package would generate an annual average of 8,400 jobs across the province from 2012 to 2030 and 11,500 jobs during the peak activity year of the project. The Conference Board of Canada also reports that the non-combat package will have an impact of 3,700 direct, indirect and induced jobs a year, with peak employment reaching just over 9,900 jobs.
“Cape Breton has a rich marine history that is greatly shaped by the sea,” says Keith MacDonald, executive director of the Cape Breton Partnership. “We are proud of our history and the Cape Breton Partnership fully supports Irving Shipbuilding in the NSPS bid. Winning a national contract will benefit the province and its impact will be felt across Cape Breton.”
The Cape Breton Partnership sees this as a significant opportunity to attract and retain young talent and have local companies fit into the required supply chain. Winning the NSPS contract will mean sustainable business growth and the ability to keep our young talent in Cape Breton.
With Cape Breton’s experience and proactive business community, the region should see economic impacts from an Irving Shipbuilding win. Even though Irving Shipbuilding has a very vertically integrated supply chain, the project should bring benefits to many small and medium enterprises in the area. Opportunities will range from becoming part of the essential supply chains for technology and materials to fabrication subcontracts to equipping, training and supplying the necessary workforce.
“Winning the NSPS contract could mean new business start-ups and business growth opportunities for Cape Breton-based firms as well as keeping more of Cape Breton’s workforce closer to home,” says MacDonald. “If Irving wins, all efforts will be made to maximize Cape Breton’s win.”
The official announcement will be made today at 5 pm AST.
About the Cape Breton Partnership
Formed with the idea of uniting business and communities across Cape Breton to drive the economy forward, the Cape Breton Partnership has created an effective forum for private and public sector investors to come together with the common goals of: forging partnerships, capitalizing on opportunities and building a stronger Cape Breton.
Keith MacDonald, Executive Director
Cape Breton Partnership