Shipbuilder Chantier Davie Canada Inc. announced today that the first of three construction vessels ordered by Norwegian oilfield services company Cecon ASA has been delivered. The ship is described as a “multipurpose offshore construction vessel” and the most complex commercial vessel ever built in a North American shipyard. Designated “hull 717,” the vessel will be known as the “Cecon Pride.” It is the 717th ship to be completed by Davie, which says it is Canada’s largest shipbuilder. Davie also claims the Cecon Pride is the largest ship built in Canada in over twenty-five years. Davie is located in Lévis, Québec.
Reports in trade news sources say that delivery of the ship, which was ordered seven years ago, has been delayed for several months. It was originally scheduled for delivery in March, 2014. Any delay was apparently downplayed by Cecon chair Riulf Rustad who commended Davie for “going above and beyond” to ensure that the vessel was ready for immediate deployment to the Mediterranean Sea without the need for further “mobilization works” in Europe.
The 130-metre-long ship was built by over 1,000 skilled shipbuilders and will perform a variety of functions for the oil and gas industry and for the renewable energy and naval market, according to a release. Hull 717 is the first of a three-ship construction program at Davie.
Canada’s shipbuilding industry has struggled in the past decade. The number of workers employed in the industry declined over the past several years, dropping from a total of 8,704 in 2004 to 6,860 in 2011, according to Statistics Canada. In the period between 2007 and 2012, GDP in the shipbuilding industry fell at the rate of 3.6 per cent annually. Wages for production workers in the industry have grown, however, rising at an average of 4.4 per cent over the same period, and jumping 9.1 per cent from 2010 to 2011. Shipbuilding exports have also risen, increasing from $471 million in 2009 to $514 million in 2013, most of that going to the US.