|Davie's recently launched Cecon Pride|
The past twist and turns, ups and downs, of Davie Shipyard in Quebec City are legendary and certainly worthy of its own book. However, the yard is actually on what appears to be, quite a rebound.
The yard, established 192 years ago, was re-launch in 2012 after a tumultuous decade of financial woes. The revival is steered by a new management team supplied by European based, ZM Industries. Shunned in the National Ship Procurement Strategy (NSPS), the yard seems to have licks its wounds, and come out swinging.
|Cecon offshore construction ships|
Earlier in the year, Davie delivered the first Cecon vessel, the Cecon Pride, originally ordered in 2008. The Cecon Pride is a specialized offshore construction vessel, and one of three vessels trapped at the yard after financial trouble hit, yet again, in 2010.
The order for specialized offshore oil and gas support vessels were a major coup for the Canadian yard; to finally release one of them to their European owners, was a major milestone, considering the painful process they, and their suppliers, underwent.
The yard still has two more copies of the Cecon vessels to finish, the Cecon Excellence, and Cecon Sovereign. The yard will then begin on their contract with the Province of Quebec, building two new LNG powered ferries. Announced at the height of the National Ship Procurement Strategy (NSPS) fanfare, in order to meet NSPS bid submission requirements, the Quebec provincial government gave Davie a $120 million contract to build two new LNG fuelled ferries. The new vessels with GT of 3500 tons, are 92 meter long, have been designed by STX of Vancouver (now Vard), and will start building in 2015.
|STQ's new dual fuel ferry designed by Vancouver based Vard (ex STX)|
Davie, as a subcontractor to Babcock Canada, recently completed a vessel life extension on the Louis St Laurent, the Canadian Coast Guards flagship, which was “on-time and on budget”. The yard even went after the John Diefenbaker contract, asking the federal government to reconsider the NSPS contract to Vancouver’s Seaspan.
When asked recently about possibility of Davie getting the Diefenbaker, Brian Carter, President of Seaspan Shipyards, snarled back at the line of questioning, saying there was "not a hope in hell", or something to that affect.
In March 2014, the yard employed 850 workers, making it the biggest shipyard operation in Canada. It’s sits opposite Quebec City on the St Lawrence River, and is a major employer in the region. The yard has recently contracted UK based Faststream Recruitment to seek out an additional 50 skilled employees. According to their newsletter, the firm is looking at poaching Romanians shipyard workers to fill the gap.