Navigate the Wake of Opportunity

One hundred and forty business people from Greater Saint John gathered at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise terminal in the city on Wednesday, November 27 for a shipbuilding supplier awareness event, “Navigate the Wake of Opportunity”.  The event  was sponsored by Enterprise Saint John, True Growth 2.0 and Irving Shipbuilding Inc.


“The reason for the awareness campaign is that many businesses don’t realize they could be suppliers,” said Steve Carson, CEO of Enterprise Saint John.  “Our True Growth team wants local businesses to be aware of the many opportunities to participate in the program and grow their businesses."

Jim Jordan, J.D. Irving, Limited’s Vice President, Supply Chain, delivered an update and the current status of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.  His presentation included an update on the $300 million investment in Halifax Shipyard, which is designed to accommodate the construction of Canadian Surface Combatants during the 2020s.  Halifax Shipyard will become the most modern yard in North America and will be ready to construct the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) in 2015.

Jordan outlined the $127 million in contracts awarded so far. To date the contracts represent 733 full-time equivalent jobs with an annual payroll of $58 million.  A second series of contract announcements are expected soon. To date, New Brunswick companies have been awarded 6.5% of the total value of the contracts.

"Our message was clear - Join the Supplier Registry," said Bill Teed, Chair of Enterprise Saint John.  “Only companies that join the registry will receive invitations for Requests for Proposals or Requests for Quotes. By having more companies join the supplier registry, Saint John businesses will have a greater chance of being awarded contracts, which will in turn increase the likelihood that these companies will create new jobs."

Irving Shipbuilding has participated in over 50 Supplier Information Sessions held across the country, including the Atlantic Provinces Reverse Trade Show in Fredericton on November 20.  This event provided information to Atlantic Canadian firms regarding how to participate in government procurement.  The Reverse Trade Show is unique because it allows the suppliers to become the visitors and the “buyers” (public sector organizations) to be the exhibitors.

More than 20 exhibitors participated, including
•  All four Atlantic Provinces
•  Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
•  New Brunswick Department of Government Services 
•  University of New Brunswick
•  City of Saint John
•  New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
•  National Defense Canada
•  NB Power
•  Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick

Suppliers to the Halifax modernization project and the new shipbuilding contracts must register at www.irvingshipbuilding.com.  Over 2000 suppliers have already registered.  The process allows Irving Shipbuilding to identify categories of interest, which will then be used to identify relevant suppliers from whom to request Requests for Information and Requests for Proposals related to specific project requirements