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Irving Shipbuilding Begins Construction of First Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) for Canada

Ships Start Now

HALIFAX, NS:  Hundreds of employees gathered in the new Assembly Hall at the Halifax Shipyard to celebrate the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol ship (AOPS) for Canada. Delivery of the first HMCS Harry DeWolf-class ship is expected in 2018.  

“Today is a milestone we have all been anticipating.  It is a great day to be a shipbuilder in Nova Scotia as we mark the beginning of this generational opportunity,” said Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding.  “We’re doing this with the best team and the largest and most modern shipbuilding facility in North America.  Our focus is on delivering the best value to Canada with a growing supply chain from coast to coast to coast.”  

Production has begun on two units for the centre section of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol ship.  Welders, pipefitters, marine fabricators and iron workers are among the trades involved in the process, using the new state-of-the-art panel line.  

The ship is the first of up to 21 vessels that will renew Canada’s combatant fleet over the next 30 years under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.  Irving Shipbuilding has built more than 80% of Canada’s current combatant ships.

All of the employees on the recall list have been contacted.  Current direct employment at Marine Fabricators in Dartmouth (where steel is cut) and the Halifax Shipyard is about 900 direct employees (staff and hourly).  Over the next two years, the workforce at both sites is expected to rise to 1600 direct employees with over 1000 directly employed on AOPS production.  In addition, total employment at Irving Shipbuilding (all operations) is forecasted to rise to over 2500 direct employees at peak production of the larger Canadian Surface Combatant vessels that will replace Canada’s current fleet of Halifax Class frigates.

To date, the modernization at Irving Shipbuilding and the AOPS contract have resulted in over $1 Billion in spending commitments:

·         Over $850 Million committed within Canada (84% of contracts awarded)
·         Over $300 Million committed spend to companies in Nova Scotia
·         Over 2,000 suppliers now registered with Irving Shipbuilding

This spend will generate*:

·         Over 8,700 Direct and Indirect jobs  in Canada (3,400 in Nova Scotia)
·         Over $550 Million in Direct and Indirect Employment Income
·         An Estimated $400 Million in Consumer Spending

*Source: ISI Economic Impact Assessment, Jupia Consulting Inc.

Irving Shipbuilding continues to hire for positions at the Halifax Shipyard. All current postings are available via our website. 

Our online supplier registry can be accessed on our website here.

Links to Vimeo: McCoy Speech   B-roll of production at shipyard

  Kevin McCoy Speaking - AOPS Production Starts - 01Sep2015
 Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding and hundreds of employees at the Halifax Shipyard mark the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship today.


  Irving Shipbuilding - Production Begins on AOPS - Plasma Cutter
 Halifax Shipyard worker cuts components for the first AOPS ship using state-of-the-art plasma cutter.


  Centre Section
 Centre section component of 1st AOPS ship underway at Halifax Shipyard.

CONTACT:               Mary Keith
                                        Vice President, Communications
                                         J.D. Irving, Limited
                                        Office: (506) 632-5122 
                                        Cell: (506) 650-8209